We’ve discussed before how to properly cook quinoa: bring water to a boil, add our favorite pseudo-cereal, and let simmer until it is fluffy and ready to eat. But as much as we love our quinoa cooked the traditional way, we also love to experiment and find new ways to enjoy this delicious ancient grain.
Here are three different ways to cook quinoa, each a fun and easy departure from the norm:
Did you know that you can pop (or puff) quinoa like popcorn? Here’s how:
- Heat a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Pour a tablespoon of your preferred oil (we love coconut) into the pot and swirl it around to completely cover the bottom.
- Pour in enough quinoa to make a single layer across the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot tightly with the lid, and then shake the pot as the quinoa begins to pop inside like popcorn.
- Keep an eye on the quinoa (it is smaller than corn and will scorch quickly) and listen for the sound of popping to slow. Once it does, pour the popped seeds into a bowl, wipe the oil from the pot, and repeat the process until you have a bowl full of puffed quinoa. Season and eat it as is, or try it with fruit and yogurt for breakfast. You could also use puffed quinoa to make bars or other baked goods.
Quinoa adds complex flavor, hearty texture and extra nutritional value to baked goods. It can be used in bread, cookies and breakfast bakes (like oatmeal.) Quinoa can also act as the base of a casserole, or be stuffed into a pepper or squash. Just look at the incredible versatility that baking quinoa offers:
Cinnamon Quinoa Bake, FitSugar
Quinoa Pudding, Food.com
Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa Bake, Two Peas & Their Pod
Bruschetta Quinoa Casserole, The Iron You
Zucchini Nut Quinoa Muffins, DAMY Health
Lentil, Cashew, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Coconut and Berries
Boiled (but not in water!)
Add extra flair to your quinoa by swapping out the water in your boiling process for something more flavorful. Using broth and herbs will infuse a side dish with savory flair, while adding apple juice (like in this recipe for sweet and fragrant Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa) will perfectly prep your quinoa for breakfast or dessert.