Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.
Another thing we asked ourselves was, why does quinoa need to be rinsed?
As you may or may not know, quinoa needs to be rinsed with cold water before cooking it . This simple process will help get rid of the bitter-tasting compound (saponin) that coats the tiny seeds; if you don’t do it, it’s going to taste wrong and you’ll never want to use this ancient power food again in your diet.
However, most quinoa that is sold in packages has been ” pre-rinsed ,” which means the saponins have been removed and rinsing isn’t necessary. Check the packaging, and save yourself from this annoying kitchen task. Boil-in-bag quinoa, which is now available at many supermarkets, is another convenient option that does not require rinsing.
Then, what is the difference between rinsed and UNRINSED quinoa?
Texture – The unrinsed quinoa had a firmer, more al dente texture than the rinsed quinoa. If you look at the picture above, the seeds of the unrinsed quinoa on the left didn’t pop open as much as the rinsed quinoa on the right. It wasn’t a huge difference in texture, but definitely noticeable. Rinsing quinoa definitely starts to hydrate the seeds.
Does ancient harvest quinoa need to be rinsed?
You may notice that all Ancient Harvest quinoa has been pre-rinsed so that you can skip this step at home. But why rinse quinoa at all?
What is clean quinoa—and is it healthier?
The “clean” quinoa does comes with a nutritional cost , though. The abrasion process “shaves off a bit of the beneficial bran layer and germ from each kernel,” Speck says. That makes the quinoa slightly less nutritious than it would be otherwise.
Another popular question is “Is quinoa really pre-washed?”.
Much of the quinoa that is sold in the States is pre-washed before it’s packaged (brands often slap the term “pre-washed” on the bag itself). But that’s a little misleading. “It’s often not washed with water,” Speck says. Rather, the quinoa has “undergone an abrasion process” that removes the saponin.
Why does quinoa taste so bad?
The whole debate started thanks to saponin, a naturally occurring chemical that coats every tiny grain of quinoa. It’s there for good reason— to ward off insects —but it has a strong, unpleasant taste. Rinsing the quinoa gets rid of the saponin and thus its bitter flavor—great.
How do you get the seeds out of quinoa?
The challenge with quinoa is that the seeds are often tiny. Therefore, a fine-mesh strainer (also called fine sieve) helps prevent seeds from falling through the holes . Rinse it under cold running water. At first, the water will be white-ish, but as you let it run it will get clear.