Now that we have quinoa available almost in any supermarket , herbalist, etc., its popularity has grown like foam, but also doubts about how to cook it.
The quinoa, although it is not a cereal (it is a pseudocereal) is cooked like rice, millet or couscous. They are small seeds that need a process to make them edible.
4 unexpected ways to cook quinoa
The first thing we have to do if we start with the raw seeds is to take a portion, which we are going to cook, and wash it.
Not that it comes dirty, is that the seeds are coated with substances called saponinsthat the plant itself produces for protection, but that give a bitter taste unpleasant. During the collection and processing of quinoa some of the saponins are removed, but at home it is preferable to wash them before cooking.
Simply put the quinoa (for example 1 cup) in a fine sieve and wash the seeds under the tap. Then drain them very well.
The quinoa is cooked very fast, it is not necessary to leave it to soak. But we can soak it to obtain other forms of edible quinoa.
The rejuvelac is a liquid product of the fermentation of whole grains or seeds , very rich in probiotics, which serves mainly to ferment homemade vegan cheeses (of cashews, almonds, etc.) although it can also be taken as a beverage. Its flavor is acid, more or less like the water of sauerkraut.
- Once the seeds are washed, put them in a large pot and add water until they are completely covered. Instead of a lid, put a thin cloth (muslin or a fine cloth) with a rubber band. Let it rest 4-8 hours in a warm place (but where it does not give the sun).
- Open the jar, drain the water, carefully wash the seeds and add water again, enough to moisturize them (do not soak them). Cover again with the fabric and leave it for 12 hours to 3 days in a warm place (not to be sunny), until the seeds germinate and sprout small buds. Remember to wash it a couple of times a day and put back just a little water, just enough to wet the seeds, until they sprout.
- Once germinated you can separate them into several pots. For every cup of quinoa we have used, we have to add 1.5 liters of water, so you can put half of it in 2 and a half liter bottles and add 750 ml of water in each one.
- Cover it again with cloth and a rope or rubber and leave it 1-3 more days in a warm place away from the sun, this time without changing the water, until it has a whitish color.
- Strain the liquid and store it in tightly closed bottles in the refrigerator. It will last you 1 week.
2. Bread base
For the rejuvelac we are left with the liquid, but what do we do with the seeds?
We can use them in many ways, just like we would with other fermented cereals. For example you can beat them with the blender and use them as a base to make bread , along with the sourdough. The mixture is great and gives the bread, whether flat or thick, a more pronounced flavor and aroma of nuts and seeds.
3. Quinoa sprouts
The quinoa buds are very small , but they make the seed very tasty and allow us to use it in salads, salads and cold dishes in which we want to add an extra crunchy and fresh.
To germinate the quinoa you just have to follow the first steps of the previous recipe. When outbreaks come out you can try some seeds and if you want them more tender leave them at least 8 hours. The buds will also grow.
Once they reach the size and flavor you like, store them drained in the fridge. They will last 3-4 days.
Germinated quinoa can be used like rice, wheat, millet, etc. You can use it to make masses of meatballs and vegan burgers, as a filling of empanadas and empanadillas, as a couscous (mix it with cooked couscous integral), etc.
4. Prepare the inflated quinoa
In many stores they sell inflated or bloated quinoa, it is the same quinoa but light and crunchy . No need to cook or heat, can be used directly for example on a yogurt (or a whole breakfast), to make chocolate crispy, breads, etc.
Making swollen quinoa at home is easy , but it has its technique, so it’s convenient to practice.
- First you have to wash the quinoa, drain it well and dry it. For this we place it in a baking tray, stretching it as much as we can, that there are no lumps, and we put it in the oven at the lowest temperature we have. Theirs is 50ºC or less. If not, leave the oven door ajar.
- Watch it every few minutes and stir until the quinoa is dry. It does not have to brown or toast, just dry.
- Once dry it is made like homemade popcorn (more or less). Put a large pot over medium-high heat. To check if it is hot you can drop some quinoa balls.
- Put the quinoa in the pot already hot and covered and move it whole once in a while. The seeds will be roasted, inflated and some will jump.
- When they have all grown, remove them and let them cool.