Admit it, you didn’t know how the heck to pronounce it either (I can’t be the only one!)
It’s actually pronounced “keen-WAH” and it has become a lot more mainstream in the past few years.
First of all, quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain as commonly thought. This means it is generally considered safe for those with gluten sensitivities, although cross-contamination should always be considered.
Quinoa is a complete protein, and also high in fiber and many essential nutrients. Its consistency is similar to brown rice or couscous. It can be used in a variety of ways including as a base for a salad or casserole, a side dish, or even in baking.
What quinoa isn’t is easy (IMHO). You prepare it pretty much the same as you would rice, by adding uncooked quinoa to boiling water then letting it simmer until all the water is absorbed.
The problem I’ve run into is that it tends to be somewhat sticky and can be tedious to cook with. (I’ve read soaking the seeds before cooking will fix this issue but I’ve yet to try it myself.)
The seeds are also completely round and very small, so cooked or uncooked it can easily make a mess if you aren’t careful. Inevitably when I try to pour out a cup to cook, some of it spills and it is a pain in the butt to pick up those tiny seeds.
I have only tried baking with quinoa once (usually I cook it like rice and mix it with veggies and chicken or fish) and the results were not great. Using a recipe I found online I made a few changes, including making bread instead of muffins. The end result tasted good, but the consistency was a little off. The bread came out kind of sticky. I’m not sure if this was an issue of the dough being too dry to start with or if it was under or maybe even over cooked. I think I will try again adding a little more unsweetened almond milk and make muffins instead, because I thick the consistency is more suited to that.
Have you tried quinoa? What is your favorite way to use it?