Side Dishes Simple Foods

Discovering Quinoa

May 7, 2017

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It was only a couple of years ago that I would see quinoa on the shelf of the grocery store and had absolutely no idea what it even was! Quinoa (keen-wah) is fantastic, gluten-free food. Many health experts are touting quinoa as a grain, but it actually a grain-like plant that is known for its edible seeds….which are actually what you consume when you eat it. The quinoa plant is actually closely related to beets and spinach.

This pseudo-grain has some great benefits such as:

  • It has the highest protein amount of any grain or seed…and the same amount of protein as milk.
  • It contains the full spectrum of amino acids which are important for brain function and mood.
  • High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E
  • Gluten-free, and easy to digest when prepared properly.
  • Acts as a prebiotic and feeds the good gut flora in the digestive tract.
  • Cooks quickly…so you don’t have to wait as long as other grains for it to be done!
  • Low glycemic, so it won’t raise blood sugar levels like other grains.

If you didn’t know about this great little grain before, you may want to try it!

Like many of the other grains and seeds, quinoa does contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that prevents the body from absorbing nutrients and makes it much more difficult to digest.

How to soak quinoa:

  • In a bowl cover the quinoa with filtered water.
  • Add 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Allow soaking for 8-24 hours before cooking.
  • Rinse before cooking.

Below is a basic stovetop recipe. Looking for an Instant Pot recipe? Here you go!

Discovering Quinoa

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • seasonings to taste


  • Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes covered; fluff with a fork.
  • Season as you like.