If you’ve purchased multiple brands of quinoa over the years, you may have noticed a common theme: Typically, in the cooking instructions, it says to rinse the quinoa before preparing it. Likewise, you may notice that all Ancient Harvest quinoa has been pre-rinsed so that you can skip this step at home.
But why rinse quinoa at all? Is it really necessary?
It’s a question we get a lot. Here’s our answer:
Quinoa has a natural coating of saponins, a chemical compound that can be found in many different plant families (including some legumes and yucca.)* These saponins (so named for their ability to foam like soap) may exist to protect the plant against microbes and fungi as well as foraging animals, as their bitter taste deters other organisms from feeding off the plant. However, this bitter taste can also evident to humans – and some people are very sensitive to the flavor saponins impart.
Most people will agree that quinoa tastes far better after it has been rinsed – which is precisely why Ancient Harvest always does this first step for you. We also understand that rinsing quinoa can be a difficult and messy chore, due to the small size of the seeds. Having to rinse quinoa every time before cooking can turn a quick and easy ingredient into something arduous. We want our customers to enjoy quinoa as it is meant to be savored, without any barrier between diner and delicious meal.