Have you ever eaten quinoa? It’s a small grain-like food, similar in size to couscous or millet. I first tried it a few years ago and was intrigued. I found out how highly nutritious it is, but when I tried to make it at home, I just couldn’t get past the bitter/strong taste of it, so I gave up.
I’ve recently been interested in trying again. So I learned a little bit more about it, and now I’m determined. Here’s why.
Quinoa is not actually a grain (from the grass family), but a seed. It contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein all on its own. (Unlike rice, for example, which must be combined with beans to make a complete protein). And, it’s gluten-free, which is helpful for those who have a gluten intolerance or for infants (above the age of one year) who are first being introduced to grains.
I’m all for nutrient-dense food. I’m learning that by serving such stuff, I can both save money (not wasting it on things that may fill the belly but not provide much nutrition), and increase health in my family. So, I decided to give quinoa another try.
I found out that the bitterness I objected to was due to saponins, and that the way to get rid of it is to soak the quinoa first and then rinse it. I also used chicken broth instead of plain water for cooking it, and it was pretty good.
I made this recipe for Sweet Potato Quinoa the other day. It turned out ok; I didn’t add the cayenne pepper though.
I’ll be trying more recipes for this superfood in the weeks to come, and of course, I’ll post any recipes I really like. If you have any good quinoa recipes to share, let me know!