Quinoa is a grain-like seed crop with high nutritional benefits of Andean origin. Its high nutritional content and the potential medicinal use have seen it become popular among many people. In the recent past, its cultivation has tripled among the chief producers of the crop like Ecuador or Peru, as the FAO reports.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, quinoa is a functional food with high potential of reducing the risk of various diseases.
The edible seeds exist in a variety of colors including; red, black, yellow and white.
How to Cook Quinoa in a Pressure Cooker
Apart from its high fiber and protein content, the food crop is easy and quick to cook.
- Rinse and drain the water
But before cooking, the whole grain food must be rinsed several times. The main purpose of rinsing is to eliminate the bitter soapy outer covering of the seed. The outer covering also called the saponin adapts the crop to its harsh environment. It can thus resist the sunrays and never be eaten by birds too.
After rinsing drain away the water. Preferably you can use a strainer to make the rinsing even easier. Although the boxed quinoa sold in shops have been prewashed, it’s still okay to wash them further. And how do you know that you have washed it effectively? Just rinse the seeds until the water running from the seed is clear.
- Puff the quinoa
Having washed the seeds through the sieve, it’s time to pop the grain-like seed. Popping adds the nutty flavor to the grain.
- Place it on a nonstick pan.
Toast just enough volume of the seeds so as to form a single layer on the pan. Next place the non-stick pan over a medium-high source of heat.
As the seeds receive heat they will pop. Continue stirring till the quinoa becomes golden brown to prevent them from burning.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of oil on the pressure cooker
It’s important to sprinkle a thin layer of cooking oil on to the floor and walls of the pressure cooker. The thin oil layer plays two important roles;
- It prevents the content of the pressure cooker form sticking onto the pot
- It also prevents foaming and spitting
The volume of water you add will depend on the amount of quinoa you want to cook. But for every cup of the grain, add approximately 350ml of water. (About one and half cups)
Finally, flavor it by adding a pinch of salt or to your taste. With the whole ingredients in the pressure cooker, stir then seal the lid and set it to the high-pressure mode. Then begin your cooking.
- Bring to pressure
The quinoa takes approximately one minute to cook, once the pressure has built up. But remember the pressure won’t build up instantly; might require about 5 minutes or so. So heat the mixture for about 10 minutes.
- Allow for the natural release of pressure
After about ten minutes, switch off the power and allow for the natural release of the pressure. But if after the minutes the pressure hasn’t been released fully, just switch to the manual release of the pressure.
When fully cooked, the quinoa possesses little white protruding tail.
The protruding tail like structure is the highly nutritious germ. If after cooking it’s to wet or you desire it to be completely dry, then you can drain out the excess water and dry it on low heat for a few minutes.
The Secret to Preparing a Delicious Pressure Cooker Quinoa
To ensure that your cooking comes out right with the tasty flavor, here are three things you mustn’t ignore;
- Rinse the quinoa seeds until the water slipping through the sieve is clear.
- Ensure you have used the right ratio of the rains to water. For every cup of the grains add one and a half cups of water. The pressure cooker highly minimizes water loss through evaporation. And thus you don’t require much water
- Season it with salt right before you begin the actual cooking process.
Nutritional Benefit of Quinoa
- Has twice the amount of fiber and plant protein when compared to other grains
When compared to wheat or barley, quinoa has double the amount of fiber contained by those crops. The fiber helps to avoid health complications like constipation, diabetes or obesity. According to the Harvard report, just one cup of cooked quinoa gives about 5 grams of fiber.
The plant also provides complete protein. That is all those 9 vital amino acids that the body can’t generate you can find in quinoa.
- Rich in iron
The seed has plenty of iron nutrient which aids in the formation of hemoglobin. Furthermore, iron also helps in the transportation of oxygen and increases brain activities too.
- A high content of vitamin B2
Quinoa has plenty of vitamins. One of these is riboflavin which helps the body to maintain the right energy levels, improves skin condition and vision too. Studies carried out suggest that vitamin B2 has the ability to bring done some types of migraine headache.
4. Acts as an antioxidant
As a gluten-free product, quinoa gives a higher concentration of antioxidants than most grains. Consuming the whole grain will, therefore, see you get a higher level of antioxidants.
The nutrient has important roles to play in our bodies. For instance, it aids in the proper regulation of sugar level. Furthermore, it also aids in the relaxation of blood vessels and making of healthy bones and teeth. So rich is quinoa in magnesium that the consumption of one cup provides about a third of the daily recommended intake of magnesium.
Having realized the potential health benefits of the crop, it’s important to incorporate it into your diet. Moreover, it’s very easy to prepare, especially if you use the pressure cooker. You can cook it in less than 20 minutes. In addition, the pressure cooker also helps to conserve its nutritional value.
If you wish you can also try to cook quinoa in a multi cooker.