Over the years I have come across many different ways of cooking quinoa. The most unusual is that of popping. I have also seen this described as toasted quinoa. There a number of things you can do once you have toasted it but first let me describe the best way to pop your quinoa.
Popping Your Quinoa
Take a small amount of vegetable oil and warm it in a pan on the hob. Some cooks say you do not need the oil but in my experience using just a teaspoonful makes all the difference. Once the oil is warm put a cup of quinoa grain in the pan and heat it up. Always keep the grains moving. After a minute or so you will start to see the grains start popping in the pan. They can jump up a couple of inches and make the same sound a popcorn popping.
When the quinoa grains start to turn light brown they are ready to remove from the pan. Take care not to over cook the grains as this can happen very quickly. Cool the grains on a plate for 30 minutes and they are ready to eat. They taste a bit like peanuts and popcorn mixed together.
What To Do With The Popped Grains
I have mixed the popped quinoa with some toasted brown flax seed to make the most exquisite mix of flavours. With popped flax you have to cover the pan with a lid and shake it during cooking. This is because the flax grains jump up high enough to jump out of the pan.
With pop quinoa and pop flax, some added nuts and raisins you have one of the healthiest snacks you could imagine. It also tastes completely delicious. Once you have made a batch you can store it for a few days in an airtight container. I guarantee it won’t last that long because you will eat it.
A second thing to do once you have popped your quinoa is to add 2 cups of water and boil it in the usual way. The seeds will absorb all the water and there is the extra nutty taste to go with whatever recipe you are making.
The final thing you can try is sprinkling the toasted quinoa over your breakfast porridge. It tastes good with quinoa flakes and the traditional oat porridge flakes. It also makes the porridge a highly nutritious and substantial start to the day.