High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, this small seed packs a big punch in the nutrition arena. So much so that quinoa has been referred to as a supergrain. Indigenous to South America where it has been cultivated for several centuries, this seed has grown wildly popular in American kitchens where it has been adopted as an excellent gluten-free alternative and wonderful go-to grain for those short on time or simply seeking variety. And why not? Nutty with a delicate fluffy grain texture, quinoa is highly versatile and cooks very quickly.
If you are new to quinoa, here is a quick tip preparing this grain: wash it. Rinsing quinoa is an important step of cooking this grain. Quinoa seeds have a unique coating called saponin that will taste bitter if not removed. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa grain well under cold running water.
If you do not have a fine mesh strainer, you may consider soaking the quinoa grains in cold water. Stir the quinoa grains, allow it to settle and spoon and discard the scum. Repeat 3-4 times or until the liquid is clear.