I was hoping to add a statement to my amaranth post that said, “Do the same with quinoa.” I tried just that bitter mess myself. I won’t recommend it to you! There, most certainly, is another way with quinoa.

When I buy quinoa from the store; I rinse quickly, soak for 15 minutes, cook with about 1-1/4 cup water to 1 cup quinoa. Good stuff. The rinse is recommended because quinoa has a bitter saponin coating. The quinoa purchased from the store, however, has been processed so the saponin is, mostly, gone. A quick or, even, extended rinse does not work with grain right off of the plant and it is spit out bitter! I did a search and found a helpful article about amaranth and quinoa. Here is a way that works!

STEP 1: HARVEST AMARANTH. I harvested and cleaned the quinoa pretty much the same way as I cleaned amaranth. You will note obvious differences but the process is the same. You will find that it is harder to blow away the chaff as little stems and such cling on to the seed.

STEP 2: SPIN, RINSE, AND STRAIN THE QUINOA MULTIPLE TIMES. The harvested grain doesn’t have to be completely clean to start. Put it in a blender or food processor. I used a dough hook to prevent damaging the grain. Put plenty of cool water in and spin at lowest speed. We have only one speed. No problem. It will foam as if you were washing your clothes.

After each blending, I pour it through a fine sieve, rinse, and do it again. I did this about 10 times or so. Maybe that was overkill; but once you’ve tasted the bitter…. In any case, repeat until there is no or little foaming. You’ll see that the chaff and whatnot separates out, easily, from the lighter colored grain. It is the first to exit the blender container when you let it settle for a moment and, carefully, pour to the sieve. Rinse or pour the chaff away.

With a little persistence, you’ll, happily, get grain that looks like this:STEP 3: COOK THE GRAIN. I used a little more than 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 cup grain. Just a little salt. Put the top on the pot and take it to a boil. Put it on a flame tamer and low heat for 12-15 minutes. I did 12 for this one and it turned out great. Even J liked it!

It will, of course, be much more efficient to work with a larger quantity of grain. I, definitely, wanted to eat more than this little portion! I’m wondering about some kind of manual spinner that would be good for this job. Hmmm.

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