Quinoa (pronounce keen-wah) is definitely a popular grain these days! It’s naturally gluten-free, 12-18% protein, high in lysine, and is a near-perfect balance of 8 essential amino acids. After trying a few recipes, I found that I wasn’t happy with the texture of the quinoa and often found it bitter tasting. While making a meal which took up every burner on my stove, I decided to make the quinoa in my rice cooker and discovered that quinoa could be light, fluffy, and flavorful.
The process is so easy and the results are so terrific that I now want to go back and make the pre-rice-cooker quinoa dishes all over again. Here’s how:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water (may use broth — but only the kind without added sodium)
Place all of your ingredients in the rice cooker and turn your rice cooker on. I use the white rice settings for quinoa. If you are trying this at a higher altitude then increase the water to 2 1/2 cups water and use the brown rice setting on your rice cooker (to allow for the longer cook time).
Quinoa is actually a seed and it has a coating called saponin that can make the cooked grain taste bitter or soapy. Saponin is naturally occurring and completely harmless so don’t be afraid. Rinsing the quinoa just before cooking gets rid of the coating and most boxed quinoa comes pre-rinsed. I rinse boxed quinoa prior to cooking it, regardless of pre-rinse claims. I recommend salting the quinoa after cooking so that the quinoa is as light and fluffy as possible.