Quinoa is one of the most versatile clean eating recipes. Make it savory with cheese and a protein, or keep it sweet with maple syrup. But whatever you choose to make, you will need to first know how to make quinoa!
Quinoa Can’t Help It!
“Ew, what is that smell? I hope it’s not quinoa!“. Nope, that wasn’t my kids, that was my friend! She was visiting and I was cooking quinoa in the rice cooker. I like to mix one cup of quinoa into brown rice when I make it in the rice cooker. It adds a little extra texture to the rice and I also won’t feel like my kids need more nutrition if they only eat the rice!
At first, I didn’t notice the smell, but once she mentioned it, it couldn’t be ignored. Quinoa has a very distinct smell when cooking but it honestly doesn’t bother me. My friend explained that she likes to eat quinoa but she can’t cook it because of the smell. I then showed her how to make it on the stove top and we both agreed that the smell was not as much of an issue. It helps that we turned on the hood vent too. But don’t let that stop you from trying quinoa, the smell doesn’t bother most people I know! I used the quinoa to make her this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl and she was a believer!
Why Eat Quinoa – Quinoa Benefits
There are so many Quinoa Benefits, so even if you have tried it in the past and didn’t like it, you owe it to yourself to try it again! The best part is that most kids like it…I have even fed it to really picky kids. They just assumed it was a different kind of rice!
Quinoa is Gluten Free and high in protein so it is great for almost any diet.
- High in Fiber – relieve constipation, claims to reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar
- High in Magnesium – for bone strength, muscle maintenance and claims to contribute to healthy blood pressure
- Iron – prevent anemia and increase oxygen circulation in your body (red blood cells)
Additional Quinoa Benefits:
- Calcium – Strong bones and teeth, also benefits the blood clotting systems in the body
- Amino Acids – One of the only foods to contain all nine amino acids! Called the building blocks of life, they help your body build and repair muscles and increase nutrient absorption
- Many other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy!
The Secret to Cooking Delicious Healthy Quinoa Recipes
The key to delicious quinoa recipes is making delicious quinoa! And there is only one step to take quinoa from good to amazing. The secret is to toast it before cooking it. This creates a nutty flavor and adds a whole new dimension to your dish. For example toasting the quinoa first made this Stuffed Kale Leaves Recipe even more delicious!
To make toasted quinoa, simply add the quinoa to a pan and toast for a few minutes, or until you hear it popping (like popcorn). Remove the pot from the heat and then VERY CAREFULLY add your water or broth. I can’t emphasize carefully enough because it will splash since the pan is so hot, and you can get burned if you just dump in all the liquid at once. Not to mention it will splash everywhere and make a mess.
Now give it a try and you will see what I mean!
Quinoa Flour – Bonus tip!
You can also make Quinoa Flour using uncooked quinoa and a high powered blender. Just add the quinoa and blend until it resembles a fine powder (you can also do this with oatmeal to make oat flour!).
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- Add the quinoa to a stock pot. Toast the quinoa over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the quinoa starts to brown and pop
- Turn off heat and remove the pot. VERY CAREFULLY and slowly add the broth. It will splash because the pot is so hot
- Put the pot back on the heat and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat
- Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn
- Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes to allow any remaining liquid to absorb
- Fluff with a fork and serve!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 649Saturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1728mgCarbohydrates: 111gFiber: 11gProtein: 26g