How to Make Puffed Quinoa at Home
Although popcorn is the most common, some grains like quinoa can also be puffed or popped to gain a lighter texture. During the 1980s, people started identifying the health benefits of quinoa, a South American crop widely grown in poor soils and harsh climates. Like buckwheat, quinoa is not a grain, but a pseudo-grain. Quinoa is unusually high in carbohydrates, proteins and essential amino acids. Although homemade puffed quinoa has not become huge like commercially available cereals that are vacuumed, it receives a different but interesting texture. This oneHOWTO article will tell you how to make puffed quinoa at home.
Preparation of the quinoa seeds
Most plant-based foods, including quinoa, have a high nutritional content, but it comes with its own defense system against animals and insects. It has a sticky coating on its seeds that contain saponin, a bitter chemical. Due to this, quinoa seeds have a harsh chemical-like bitter taste if you eat them as they are. Many commercially cultivated quinoa seeds come pre-washed, but if you are not sure, it is best to rinse the seeds yourself to remove this coating. Pour the quinoa seeds in a fine wire strainer, and rinse them thoroughly under running water. Now drain the seeds well, transfer them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a substitute, and let them dry overnight. Make sure to keep stirring them after every few hours to ensure uniform drying.
Puffing the quinoa seeds
Use a skillet or heavy pot with a heavy bottom to pop the quinoa seeds. Quinoa seeds do not pop explosively like popcorn, but still you will need to keep them covered with a lid. Heat the skillet over medium heat, and add half a cup of quinoa seeds to it. You may pop them dry, but adding half a tablespoon of oil can give a nuttier flavor and crisper texture to the seeds. Cover the skillet and shake it briskly to prevent sticking. Once the seeds have puffed, turn them on a sheet pan and let them cool.
Using puffed quinoa seeds
Puffed quinoa seeds are barely larger than their original size, though they have a different texture. Dry and crisp them by toasting at 225 ˚F and use them for breakfast cereal. Add some pepper and salt to the seeds and replace popcorn with a bowl full of puffed quinoa. You may also add some chile oil to it or sprinkle the dried herbs of your choice. You may also add your favorite muesli or granola mixture. You may add them to muffins, breads and cookies that will significantly increase their protein and fiber content. A number of energy bars can have puffed quinoa seeds as their main ingredient too like pictured below. You may also combine them with marshmallows to make a crisp treat of rice. Instead of croutons and nuts, you can add them to healthy and easy quinoa salad to get a crunchy texture. They work absolutely well with sautéed or roasted veggies of your choice such as on our recipe: How to make quinoa with vegetables.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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