Quinoa (keen-wa) was a staple of the ancient Incas and means "the mother grain". It's high in iron and has a distinctive flavor and fluffy texture. It makes a tasty choice for casseroles, pilafs and even salads when cooked.
Rinse quinoa thoroughly either by using a strainer or by running fresh water over the quinoa in a pot and draining. Rinsing is recommended to wash away any naturally occurring bitter tasting saponins* remaining after processing. Place quinoa and water in a 1 1/2 qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed (10 to 15 min.). When done, grains will be translucent and the outer germ layer will separate. Use basic quinoa in any favorite rice or grain recipe.
Makes 3 cups.
*Saponins are soap-like substances that occur on the outside of the quinoa grains. It is believed they are put there by nature to deter insects and birds.
Store in a cool dry place.