3 Easy And Simple Ways Of Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker

3 Easy And Simple Ways Of Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker

You may not realize this but the rice cooker sitting on your kitchen counter can cook more than just rice. There are different ways to experiment with your rice cooker, one of which is preparing quinoa. So, if you are up for a healthy quinoa diet, then continue reading to learn easy and simple ways of cooking quinoa in rice cooker.

Quinoa is essentially a tasteful main or side dish, rich in protein that you can prepare as easily as you prepare rice. In case you are new to this amazing dish, it would be helpful for you to know that quinoa has grown quite popular among fitness enthusiasts and individuals who follow a strictly balanced diet. Whether you opt for plain quinoa, or want to prepare it using chicken stock, or even consume it with a salad (preferably cherry tomato salad), this dish will prove highly beneficial for your health.

Benefits Of Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker:

First things first- quinoa is among those food preparations that require precision and experience to be cooked the right ways. Preparing quinoa in a stovetop may result in less fluffy preparation, or may cause some of it stick to the pot’s base.

On the other hand, a rice cooker can make the process of cooking quinoa more convenient and satisfying. While the cooking process may not be faster than traditional stovetop cooking, it gives you the freedom to engage in other chores instead of standing around for quinoa to be cooked.

Here are some solid benefits of using a rice cooker for preparing quinoa:

  • Unlike cooking in stovetop, you are spared of watching the quinoa being prepared
  • If your rice cooker comes with “keep warm” feature, then you can serve warm quinoa, especially when you had a long day at work
  • A rice cooker offers you the convenience of cooking quinoa in almost all places (with electrical outlet), including your dorm room.

With all these advantages, it is hard to resist considering to cook quinoa using a rice cooker. Also, you can prepare a batch for the entire week in advance, saving you the trouble of having to cook quinoa every day.

Let’s find out more about quinoa and how to prepare it in a rice cooker.

Quinoa- What It Is And How It Tastes:

The publicity of quinoa through various social media networks, especially the Pinterest, has made this food a range among people today. In fact, various social media posts include different recipes using quinoa, making it a hot food choice this year.

Origin :

As mentioned earlier, quinoa is rich in protein, but it is also gluten-free, nutritious seed, which has its roots in South America (Andean region). Additionally, quinoa consists of all the eight essential amino acids, and is a great source of iron, Vitamin B as well as dietary fiber. This is a great food to add in everyone’s daily diet.

Appearance :

Despite being smaller than bulgur, farro, barley and rice, this seed appears much similar to a grain, as it comes with a tough exterior and neutral coloring. However, the fact remains that the origin of this seed can be traced back to the spinach plant. On being cooked, the quinoa seeds significantly and rapidly expand, and become tender yet chewy with a hint of crunchiness.

Taste :

No matter what liquid you choose to cook quinoa in (plain water, vegetable broth, chicken broth), it will turn nutty and fluffy once cooked. The taste might be different for different individuals, but it generally tastes somewhat like couscous, or even brown rice. Describing the taste of this grain is not really easy, but owing to the large amount of nutritional benefits associated with quinoa, it is worth a try.

What Are The Different Ways Of Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker?

Plain quinoa is the simplest recipe for preparing this nutritious food. It may not get a place among your favorites, but it works as an effective building block in terms of preparing healthy and nutritious dishes. For instance, you can try adding lemon zest to the liquid used for cooking quinoa, and then chop up some spinach (baby) and half a few cherry tomatoes, which you can place on top of the cooked quinoa. Allow the spinach to wilt as the tomatoes to cook in the hot, freshly prepared quinoa (which takes around 4-5 minutes). Top this salad with olive oil (drizzle) and lemon juice (from 1 lemon). Serve it either cold or warm to your guests, and they will keep talking about how delicious it tastes.

Alternatively you can consider adding

  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • White beans
  • Red peppers (roasted)
  • Protein powder

All these options give you the chance to explore your creativity in culinary skills, and incorporate a variety of flavors to a plain quinoa.

Choices In Liquid :

The main two options in liquid include broth and water. You may cook the quinoa entirely in water, which will give you plain and perfect quinoa (it is mostly tasteless when cooked in water). However, if you use chicken broth for cooking quinoa, then the flavor of the dish will be greatly enhanced. Even vegetable broth can improve the flavor of quinoa when cooked. Broth actually serves as a starting point for experimenting with quinoa. With chicken or veggies as the foundation, you can consider adding other ingredients to make the quinoa dish more flavorful.

Choices In Oil :

Again, you can consider adding coconut oil to your regular quinoa preparation. Coconut oil works like magic when preparing quinoa dish; when greased on the inside of a rice cooker, coconut oil can prevent the quinoa from getting stuck to the rice cooker bowl. And it also adds moisture as well as texture to the dish, which enhances the overall flavor of the quinoa dish.

In case the rice cooker you use allows the addition of spices and herbs, you can add them according to your taste. That’s because quinoa is known to absorb all the flavors that get cooked along with it.

Tips For Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker:

Here are some effective guidelines you need to follow when using a rice cooker to prepare quinoa-Maintain The Ratio- When cooking quinoa in water, you need to follow the ratio of 2:1 in which 1 part of quinoa (dry or rinsed) is added to 2 parts of liquid (in this case, water). However, when cooking quinoa using broth, the amount of liquid should be 14.5 ounces instead of 2 cups. This amount is ideal for cooking quinoa perfectly in vegetable or chicken broth. Therefore, for preparing quinoa using broth, the amount of quinoa should be 1 cup (dry or rinsed), and the amount of broth should be 14.5 ounces.

Rinsing Quinoa- Naturally available quinoa comes with saponins coated on it, which gives the seed a bitter taste. The saponins protect the quinoa seeds from being attacked and eaten by insects. However, when the quinoa seeds are packaged for sale, they are pre-washed and then packed. That does not mean that you don’t have to rinse them before cooking. But if you feel that the nuttiness and flavor of the dish will disappear if you rinse quinoa (prior to cooking), then you can avoid rinsing it. It is completely your personal preference as to whether you want to rinse quinoa before cooking or not. It is highly recommended that if you purchase quinoa in a bulk amount, then you should rinse it before cooking.

Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker- The Process:

So, now that you know all about quinoa and what to expect when cooking it in a rice cooker. Check out the following three preparations that you can try-

Basic Quinoa Preparation

This preparation is made using water, and is the simplest and easiest of the 3 quinoa preparations in rice cooker.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Preparation Time- 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time- 30 minutes
  • Overall Time- 35 minutes
  • No. of Servings- 6

Ingredients required:

  • Water (2 cups)
  • Quinoa (1 cup)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon, optional)

Basic Quinoa Cooking Process:

Step no.1-Rinse the quinoa.

Rinse the quinoa

Step no.2-Place the water and quinoa inside the rice cooker(I preferred stainless steel rice cooker).

quinoa inside the rice cooker

Step no.3-Pour in the salt.

Step no.4-Turn the rice cooker on.

Turn the rice cooker on

The cooking process should last for approximately 30 minutes. After the quinoa is cooked, you need to fluff it up using a fork.

Quinoa With Coconut Oil- This is a flavorful quinoa preparation using coconut oil

Here’s how you can prepare this delicious quinoa.

  • Preparation Time- 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time- 35 minutes
  • Overall Time- 40 minutes
  • No. of Servings- 4

Ingredients Required:

  • Vegetable or chicken broth (14.5 ounces)
  • Quinoa (1 cup, dry)
  • Salt (1 pinch, optional)
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 cup dry quinoa

Cooking Process Of Quinoa With Coconut Oil:

Step no.1– Rinse the quinoa with the help of a mesh strainer under water (cold) for at least 15-20 seconds (you mat avoid rinsing if the quinoa is pre-washed).

Step no.2– Wipe the coconut oil on the interior side of the rice cooker with the help of a kitchen towel (or paper towel). Make sure that the bottom part, the top part as well as the sides are wiped with coconut oil. This will prevent the quinoa from sticking to the inside of the rice cooker.

Step no.3– Add the broth and the quinoa to the rice cooker. You don’t have to stir the mixture.

Step no.4– Place the rice cooker on the “brown rice” setting (if available), or on “rice setting”.

Step no.5– Once you hear the beep sound from the rice cooker, open its lid and then allow the quinoa to cool for at least 3 to 4 minutes.

Step no.6– With the help of a fork, fluff up the quinoa very gently.

The preparation is ready to be served. You can also store this preparation in a container (airtight) for as many as 4 days.

Quinoa With Vegetables

One more quinoa preparation, which you can try instead of cooking plain quinoa.

Here’s how you can prepare this vegetable quinoa.

  • Preparation Time- 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time- 30 minutes
  • Overall Time- 35 minutes
  • No. of Servings- 4

Ingredients Required:

  • Carrot (1, small diced)
  • Onion (half, small diced)
  • Quinoa (1 cup, rinsed)
  • Broth or water (2 and half cups)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoon)
  • Salt (3/4th teaspoon, optional)

Cooking Process Of Quinoa With Vegetables :

Step no.1– First start with sautéing the onion and carrots inside the rice cooker using the olive oil. Make sure the setting is on high heat. Continue until the onions turn translucent.

Step no.2– Add the liquid and quinoa, and the seasoning (if required).

Step no.3– Close the rice cooker’s lid and then allow the quinoa to cook for at least 15 to 20 minutes on high heat till such time the liquid is boiled off.

Step no.4– The quinoa preparation is ready only when the volume of quinoa has doubled, as well as tail sprouts from its end.

Step no.5– Fluff up the quinoa with the help of a fork/serving spoon. You can either serve the preparation hot, or allow it to cool and then store it in a container (airtight) inside the refrigerator for as many as 2 to 3 days.

In Conclusion:

If you are eager to learn about cooking quinoa in rice cooker you need to make sure that you add some extra time when preparing red quinoa.  Since no two rice cookers are the same, you will have to experiment with yours to find out what is the appropriate preparation time in your rice cooker.

In general, the settings for white rice can be used for preparing quinoa. However, if you are trying out red quinoa for the very first time, you need to allow the quinoa to be cooked for at least 5 minutes more than the time it takes to cook white quinoa. Other adjustments can be made accordingly.

As soon as you become a pro in cooking plain quinoa, it will not take you much time to try out other complex quinoa recipes in your rice cooker! See? A rice cooker can actually do more than simply cook rice!

1 thought on “3 Easy And Simple Ways Of Cooking Quinoa In Rice Cooker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *