Hi there! Are you curious on how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker? Check out how easy it is to prepare and cook quinoa all the time.
Quinoa over Rice
More and more people are switching over to quinoa because of its healthier components as believed compared to rice.
This comparison is specifically between quinoa and white rice wherein a cup of the former has 40 fewer calories than the same amount of the latter.
Quinoa is best for those individuals who are trying to trim down their weight by means of food consumption.
You will get 5grams more of fiber and twice the protein than white rice. But what about the taste and preparation, is it also as easy as cooking white rice? Let’s find out in this new post!
The Super Grain
Would you believe that quinoa was already in existence from 3000-4000 years ago?
The people of the Andes Mountains domesticated quinoa and became an important aspect of their culture. However, records show that livestock uses quinoa from 5200-7000 years ago.
The seeds come from a flowering plant from the amaranth family. It is not considered as grass but rather as a relative of the amaranth and spinach.
Incas really honored quinoa and even declared it as the “Mother of All Grains”. They even had a ritual where the Emperor will sow the first seeds according to their golden implements.
Quinoa cultivation only stopped during the Spanish conquest. The colonists tagged this grain as ‘food for Indians’ and later on forbade the Incas to plant quinoa. They were forced to grow wheat instead.
Quinoa became highly popular and its price spikes to triple because of the less production, high demand situations. Due to the fact that this grain has more health benefits than white rice, every day, there are many converts searching for quinoa at the groceries and even online.
Taste and Texture
If this is your first time meeting quinoa and are curious on how the taste and texture would be like, well it is pretty much the same as brown rice with a little bit of oatmeal. You can probably imagine a nutty, creamy, fluffy, and crunchy texture all rolled in one grain.
Like any other grains, quinoa has many types too. According to the Whole Grains Council, there are roughly more than a hundred varieties of quinoa listed, oh goodness!
The most common we see is white but there are other colors such as red quinoa usually made for salads, and black quinoa which has a sweeter and earthier flavor.
You can also find quinoa flour as a replacement for all-purpose flour for more nutritious pastries.
How to Cook Quinoa
There are many ways to cook quinoa based on the recipe you wish to prepare. It is as versatile as rice and can replace it in so many dishes.
Quinoa is also faster to cook than rice and other grains; usually, you can prepare it just about 10-15 minutes using different cooking methods.
The classic cooking method is stove-top boiling wherein you only need 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water. Like rice, this grain also adheres to the correct amount of water for it to be perfectly cooked.
- You only need to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized pot and turn on the flame at low heat for about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, keep the cover on and let it rest for 5 minutes more
- Voila! Quinoa is ready
One of the best cooking methods that will really release the flavor of quinoa is by pre-toasting it prior to boiling. Here’s how:
- On a small pan, add in a cup of quinoa
- Roast the dry grains like how you roast nuts
- Stir it as often as you can to avoid burning
- Allow it to roast until you hear the popping sounds and nutty smell
That’s it! Right after toasting your quinoa you can now start boiling it for a flavorful grain.
How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker
Like quinoa, rice cookers are also versatile when it comes to cooking different kinds of dishes. A rice cooker is not just limited to rice but has been very efficient in preparing almost all types of cooking too, except grilling I guess.
Cooking quinoa in the rice cooker is similar to cooking rice except that it takes lesser time usually from 12-15 minutes only. There is no specific rice cooker requirement for quinoa; even the most basic one can cook it without any problems. Here’s how:
- Wash quinoa to remove dust and dirt. Some brands may have done it for you already so better read the labels
- Add in 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking brown rice, they need more water in order to cook
- Let the rice cooker do the cooking!
- When the rice cooker turns off and switches to keep warm, let it rest for 5 more minutes without removing the cover
You will get a clean, neutral taste of quinoa where you can add your favorites for an awesome meal. Using the rice cooker for quinoa is the easiest method so far and the best choice if you are planning to prepare special quinoa dishes.
Quinoa Mint and Turmeric Salad
Thinking about having quinoa salad for dinner later? Here is a great quinoa recipe you can try at home!
- 1 and a half cup of quinoa
- 6 tablespoons of Olive Oil
- A freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- A half cup of mint, finely chopped
- A half cup of parsley, also finely chopped
- A carrot, grated
- Red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh turmeric, minced (if using powder then use a teaspoon only)
- Tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (depends on your choice)
- Half cup raisins, cut each raisin into 2 pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Prepare:
- Simply combine all the ingredients and chill for a few minutes before devouring!
I bet you are now curious about how quinoa really tastes like. Well, I can’t blame you if you do because I’m also convinced that this grain has superpowers that can keep us strong and healthy.
Keep on eating healthy! There are so much more to try out there. Have you tried cooking quinoa? What recipe can you recommend to us? Leave us a comment of your recipes below!