Quinoa: How to Prepare It

Quinoa is a nutritious grain with high levels of iron, zinc, and calcium. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and can be used as a main entree or side dish. Quinoa is not technically a grain but it does prepare like any grain does. To benefit most from the mineral profile of quinoa, soak it before cooking it to reduce the mineral inhibitors in it.

Quinoa is high in a substance called phytic acid which inhibits your mineral absorption. Take measures to reduce the phytic acid and you will absorb more minerals in your food. Plan to soak the quinoa before cooking it and you will both reduce the phytic acid and reduce your cooking time as well.

Steps to Reduce Phytic Acid

Rinse your quinoa and plan to soak it for about twelve hours, give or take. Soak the quinoa in the content of water called for in your recipe, generally about two parts water for one part quinoa. Overnight soaking works well. A morning soak works well for a dinner entree. Soak the quinoa in water above your body temperature and find a warm spot for it to sit to reduce|lower|diminish the phytic acid. Cover it with a towel during the soak time. Add a bit of yogurt or lemon juice to the soak water to improve the pH and reduce the phytic acid further. Skip this optional step if the flavor does not appeal to you.

When the soaking has finished, simply cook up the quinoa as instructed. The quinoa will cook up about twice as fast as normal, usually in about ten minutes. You might even soak the quinoa in a cooking pan and simply place the pan on the stove when you are ready to cook.

Cook the quinoa as you normally would, but appreciate the fact that you will be benefiting from more of its nutrients because of the steps to improve mineral digestion (such as magnesium taurate).

Quinoa is a versatile dish. As options, consider a few possibilities:

  • Serve it as a breakfast porridge sweetened with brown sugar or honey.
  • Make a grain salad, like you would do with bulghur and couscous.
  • Eat it along with soup for a more filling and nutritious meal.
  • Serve it as a side dish drizzled in olive oil or butter.

Quinoa is versatile, flavorful, and nutritious, but it also contains phytic acid. Reap the full benefits of quinoa and its minerals by following these simple steps.

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