Monday, October 25, 2010

Soaking Quinoa

Some people recommend soaking quinoa every time you cook with it. Personally, I find that as long as I rinse the quinoa before I use it, I do not have any problems with bitterness or digestive upset, so I do not bother soaking quinoa that I will cook.

However, I have been interested in preparing quinoa to eat raw. There are two ways to prepare quinoa raw:

  1. Soak the quinoa overnight to make a nutty, crunchy salad base.
  2. Sprout the quinoa to make a sprout salad.

Soaking Quinoa

I soaked quinoa for the first time over the weekend.

To begin, I rinsed the quinoa using my plastic strainer.

Then I put the seeds in a bowl, covered them with about 3/4 of an inch of water, and placed the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. Most sources recommended soaking quinoa for 12-14 hours - I wound up soaking it about 18 hours before I made my salad.

I drained the water from the quinoa using my strainer again, and rinsed away the soapy residue on the seeds.

I measured the quinoa before I made the salad. After soaking, quinoa had doubled in size, going from 1 cup to 2 cups. This quinoa had a chewing texture somewhat similar to chopped walnuts - nutty but easy on the teeth. The seeds still looked very much as they did dry.

I am very interested in learning different ways to use soaked quinoa in my kitchen. I wonder if it can be used in cookies or if the quinoa would change when baked.

You can see the salad I made after soaking quinoa here ==> Easy Quinoa Salad.

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