Overnight-soaked quinoa has become a favorite staple for many of my meals. I enjoy it sweetened with fruit, or as a savory side dish for lunch and dinner. Quinoa is very versatile as a basic ingredient in many recipes out there. Soaking is a very important step to making this an incredible health food!
Quinoa Is A Seed
Although it is usually thought of and treated as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed. It is related to amaranth and spinach. Anyone who eats a grain-free diet can enjoy this, it’s texture is like a grain. It fills that space in recipes that call for rice, bulgur wheat, or any other whole grain.
Although the rest of my family regularly eats grains, I eat primarily a grain-free diet. For this reason quinoa is a staple for me.
Benefits Of Eating Quinoa
Quinoa has become known as a superfood and for good reason!
It is high in anti-oxidants due to the levels of quercetin which can help to stop the spread of some cancers.
It is fairly high in protein and has B vitamins, and is a good source of folate. Quinoa is a good source of iron, as well.
Quinoa is an anti-inflammatory food and has been found to help reduce migraine headaches due to its levels of magnesium and riboflavin. I have found that when I eat quinoa regularly, I experience fewer headaches and I feel good.
All of these benefits are increased by soaking quinoa overnight before cooking, because it is more digestible!
Why I Soak Quinoa
All grains, seeds, and nuts are soaked overnight at my house. This improves the digestibility of these foods. These foods have natural phytates in them that tie up the phosphorus in a plant. It binds with minerals in our intestinal tract which cause us to not absorb them properly. The soaking of grains, seeds, and nuts with an acid basically starts to pre-digest them for us.
It is very common to be deficient in these nutrients that phytates bind, which can lead to a lot of problems, one of which is cavities in our teeth.
Since beginning to soak these foods that are found to be high in phytates, there has been a reduction in cavities among my family. That has been a huge relief to me!
Also, in the past, before I overnight soaked my quinoa, I experienced stomach cramps after eating it. This stomach upset was due to the saponins that are high in quinoa.
Saponins are a coating on the seeds that protect the plant as it grows. It is what makes quinoa seem “soapy” when it is rinsed. The soaking of quinoa in an acid, like apple cider vinegar or whey helps to remove the saponins, as well.
Overnight soaking of quinoa has become an easy habit. It takes a minute, and small amount of forethought.
- In a medium sized bowl, pour in 1-2 cups whole quinoa. ( It keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, so I always make more than I need for one day.)
- Pour in 2 TSP raw apple cider vinegar. Put on your counter, cover, and leave it overnight.
How To Cook Your Soaked Quinoa
1. The next morning, pour the soaked quinoa into a colander. Then rinse really well with cold water.
2. Rinse until the “soapy” residue has been washed away, about 30 seconds.
3. Then, pour the soaked quinoa into a saucepan, along with 1/4- 1/2 tsp. salt.
4. It only needs a small amount of water, because of the soaking process. It absorbs a lot of water during soaking. Put in just enough to barely cover the surface of the soaked quinoa.
5. Bring your quinoa to a rolling boil. Let it cook for 1 minute, then turn off the stove burner, cover with a lid, and let it absorb the water for about 5-10 minutes.
6. You can then remove the lid and stir the quinoa.
If you allow your quinoa to cool down completely before stirring, the texture will be fluffier. That is usually what I do, because I make it ahead and use it in various recipes.
Soaking quinoa is an easy enough way to vastly improve the quality of the food that we eat. It takes minutes and just a small amount of planning ahead! I hope you give it a try.
Please tell me, in the comments, if you have ever soaked any of your grains or seeds. How did it go? Did you like the result?
Like soaked foods, fermented foods are of great benefit to you. You may like to check out some of my other recipes. My Easy Sourdough Discard Flatbread is a recipe you may like to try! Or you may like my Greatest Chocolate Kefir Smoothie!