Does Quinoa Have a Taste Of Its Own?

As quinoa becomes more popular in the USA and Europe more and more new quinoa recipes are being developed. One of the reasons is that its own flavour is quite mild and so it can be adapted easily to savoury, sweet and even baking recipes.

I have read of people finding quinoa bitter but there is a simple reason for this taste. The quinoa seeds have a coating of saponins on them. These need to be rinsed off thoroughly before cooking. Now many new supplies of quinoa have already been rinsed before packing but I always rinse mine just in case.

So the taste of quinoa is mild, but I would say very slightly savoury. Some have described the taste as nutty or seedy. It has a crunchy texture when cook for its minimum time of about 10 minutes. If you cook it for 15 minutes it becomes very soft and slightly chewy. As well a good flavour quinoa is filling so you do not need to eat a lot to feel satisfied.

When I first started cooking quinoa I tried all variations of times and flavourings and most of the experiments were very successful. When people say they do not like quinoa I am a bit mystified as I can’t think what there is to dislike about it. I think the problem is the fear of trying something new.

If you try out some brown rice you do not give it a full critique. Its mild flavour is there to accompany other foods. The same is true for quinoa. It is a perfect food to eat with meat and other vegetables. It is far more beneficial for you because of all the nutrients and proteins that it contains. Because quinoa is gluten free it can be eaten on a celiac diet.

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About Ken

My name is Ken and I am the author of The Quinoa Cookbook. My book is the top selling book worldwide on how to cook quinoa and has over 70 quinoa recipes included.
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One Response to Does Quinoa Have a Taste Of Its Own?

  1. Amanda says:

    Quinoa is awesome and so versatile! It takes on the flavour of the liquid in which it is cooked (try it cooked in apple juice with a cinnamon stick and a pinch of brown sugar. Add some almonds and dried cranberries when done – awesome!) I like it as a side dish, but mostly I eat it COLD, with the fixins’ for a Greek salad mixed in, and all tossed with some delicious Greek salad dressing. Add some chicken and you’ve got supper!

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