I get questions all the time from people who ask how we make quinoa so flavorful and packed with great taste. Quinoa is not a scary as you think and in fact it is just as easy to make as rice expect it a lot more beneficial to your body the regular white rice. Just remember since the consistency and texture is a little different from rice it does take a little practice to make this powerful super food perfect for the entire family.
The beauty of quinoa is that is is easy to make and extremely versatile in the kitchen. It is vegan, gluten free, and dairy free (unless you add the dairy in a separate recipe). You can make it breakfast “oatmeal” style or you can have it for dinner with chicken or steak, it even pairs well, with your favorite fish.
This is the process of how you make our quinoa dish: Simple, packed with flavor, and delicious!
The secret? Cook you quinoa in a rice cooker. Thats it! A rice cooker is the secret. Add salt, garlic, chopped onion, and some chopped nuts. Practice makes perfect so try doing this a few times and do not give up on the first try. Use a heavier hand on these ingredient than you would normally as if you were making say, a dish of rice, just be sure not to give up on the first try.
One of the problems with quinoa, and perhaps the reason why more people don’t eat it, is that not many people know how to get the flavor right. Eaten plain, quinoa can be…well, plain (and thus unappetizing to many). The trick therefore is in the flavoring of your quinoa…and luckily, it goes with lots of different things! If you want to eat your quinoa plain (and not stuff it in something like peppers, or sprinkle it on something like cereal or salads, there are ways to spice up the flavor! Here are some tips on how to get the best flavor out of your quinoa:
1. Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth – A quick and easy way to get extra instant flavor in your quinoa is to use part chicken or vegetable broth instead of water when cooking your quinoa.
2. Garlic/Olive Oil – Many people saute their quinoa with garlic and olive oil before boiling to freshen and enliven the taste. (The quinoa aborbs the flavor).
3. Bay Leaves – If you want more of a subtle flavor, you can add a bay leaf while cooking your quinoa.
4. Lime/Scallions – Another fresh flavor is to add lime and scallions to your quinoa!
Finally, remember to rinse your quinoa! – There is alot of debate online about whether or not your should be rinsing it. The answer: most cooks will tell you yes, you should rinse it. Quinoa has an outer coat of a chemical called saponin – this is a natural chemical, but to a person’s palate, it has a very bitter taste. If you don’t rinse it off, your quinoa will taste bitter. If the quinoa you’re eating does not taste bitter and you have not been rinsing it, chances are that it has already been rinsed! Manufacturers of many companies will pre-rinse the quinoa prior to packaging! (or course, there’s nothing wrong with rinsing again! 🙂
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All purpose flour: Bleached vs unbleached.
All-purpose Bleached flour: Can be used for most “general” recipes. When in doubt this is the flour that will probably be your best pick, the most universal flour. Sometimes called “plain” flour.
All-purpose Unbleached flour: This is close to the same as the All-purpose Bleached flour. But before you just willy nilly pick bleached or unbleached here are a few things to consider. Unbleached flour is the closest to the natural process that flour takes to “bleach” itself. The “AP Flour” bleached version is more of a chemically treated flour but still close to the same product as the unbleached. Many bakers find that each flour has it’s own purpose, some claiming that unbleached is better for breads with yeast, and bleached being better for (example) cookies which do not normally call for yeast. Whichever you choose do some research to find out exactly what you are baking, your needs, and which flour suites your situation.
The thing to remember here is that if you are baking just for fun and you normally do cookies, get the unbleached. If you are looking for perfection, and are trying to bake the best dessert ever, do some research to determine which flour is best for your need…