Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Popped Quinoa

Did you know that just like popcorn, quinoa can be popped? Well it can! And here's proof:



Are you surprised by the picture? Did you expect to see crazy curly shapes like popcorn makes when it gets popped? Quinoa is definitely more BORING plain when it is popped. The size and shape do not change considerably. The color does a little, but overall it looks almost the same as the unpopped kind. The most noticeable change is the texture and flavor.

You can pop quinoa very easily following these steps:

Popped Quinoa
1.   Heat a deep, pan on high until it gets really hot. You don't need any oil in it or anything. Just a hot pan. Update: Different pans will heat in different ways so you may need to experiment a little with the temperature. I usually use a non-stick, heavy-duty pan. If you use stainless steel pan or a pan that is lighter in weight, you may need to adjust the temperature to medium or even medium low so that the quinoa doesn't burn.

2.   To test if ready, drop a pinch of quinoa in the pan. If it pops within a few seconds the pan is hot enough. Pour out the test kernels into your bowl and you're ready to begin.

3.   Add 1-2 Tbsp. of quinoa to the bottom of the deep pan on your burner. You'll have to experiment with the amount. You want about a single layer of quinoa on the bottom of the pan. Because this grain is so small, it will burn easily so don't add too much at a time.

4.   As soon as the kernels begin to pop, lift the pan off the burner (this should only take a few seconds). Shake and swirl the pan around off the burner to rotate the grain until the popping stops.  The kernels only pop a few inches so it's not necessary to have a lid on the pan, as long as your pan is deep enough.  If your quinoa burns, you may need to turn the heat down a little - to medium high or so.

5.   Pour the quinoa into your bowl and repeat steps 1 through 4 until you have the desired amount of popped quinoa.

Don't worry whether every single kernel of quinoa popped or not. Unlike popcorn, unpopped quinoa will not break your teeth and it is still great to eat.

Here's some things to do with popped quinoa:
  1. Popped quinoa makes a great snack all in itself. It is crunchy, toasty flavored, and healthy. The only drawback? It's so small! Unlike popcorn you can't really go putting a handful in your mouth to munch on. Rather you have to lick your finger and stick it in the bowl to get some to stick on there. But kids love to do that anyway, so if you're feeling brave (and ready to clean up a possible mess) go for it - stick a bowl out for their snack and let them go to town!
  2. Popped quinoa is great to add to granola, granola bars, cookies, rice crispy treats, homemade crackers, and other snacks.
  3. You can sprinkle popped quinoa over your hot cereal (like oatmeal) to add extra texture and crunch.
  4. Sprinkle popped quinoa over yogurt for a delicious breakfast.
  5. Sprinkled popped quinoa over a salad to add yummy flavor and texture.
Be creative. There's lots of possibilities for this wonderful, healthy treat!

Linked to: Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Whole Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2day Wednesdays, Real Food 101, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop

23 comments:

Eden Allison, Independent Consultant said...

All these posts are perfect timing! My quinoa just arrived yesterday so I'm getting ready to try it out - and I'm sharing what I'm doing on my blog.
Thanks for sharing!

Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy said...

This is so brilliant! I'm definitely going to be trying this. Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday and come back next week!

Deb said...

What a neat idea! I'll have to try it. I'm thinking about putting it on top of a salad . . .

mossgrownstone said...

How cool!

Cherylyn said...

Thanks for the tips. I had no idea you could do this with quinoa. Do you rinse the quinoa before popping it?

Jenn "Rook No. 17" said...

So cool! I can't wait to give this a try!

Visiting by way of the linky at Beyond the Peel.

Jenn/Rook No.17

Elizabeth said...

Wow! I never would have guessed! Thanks for sharing! I know we will be trying this soon.

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

Cherylyn, I didn't rinse mine, but it's probably pre-rinsed. It doesn't have the bitter flavor when cooked that the kind that's not pre-rinsed does. So I'm not sure what would happen if you rinsed it first. Let me know!

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

I had no idea you could pop quinoa! What a great healthy snack!

Alea Milham said...

We love quinoa, but I had no idea that you could pop it. I can't wait to give this a try.

Janelle (Gluten Freely Frugal) said...

I had no idea you could do this! Thanks for sharing on Allergy-Free Wednesday! Hope you'll join us again this week with another great recipe!

Judee@ Gluten Free A-Z said...

Very different.. I'll give it a try..

Kristina (The Greening Of Westford) said...

How cool! Do you rinse the quinoa like you do before you cook it normally? If so, I assume you need to let it dry???

Mashena said...

Am I the only goof that tried to pop the Quinoa in an airpop popcorn popper *slaps hand on head*...don't try this at home...or you will have Quinoa all over said home LOL

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

LOL Mashena! That is hilarious!!I wondered what would happen when you put it in the air popper....i won't try it...

Christine said...

I'm curious how to pop quinoa that has to be rinsed first (we grow our own so it doesn't come pre-rinsed). We soak it and drain it but I don't know how to get it dry enough for recipes that start with dry quinoa (like granola, etc). Any suggestions? Thanks!

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

Hmm...anyone have any ideas? I don't really know. I wonder if you stuck it in a dehydrator it after you rinsed it, if that would work?

angelina said...

hi I'm not sure what's wrong here. I can't get the quinoa not to burn...it either doesn't pop or burns...I'm using a stainless steal quisinart large stock pot ....any tips?

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

Angelina,
I just tried mine with a stainless steel pan and the heat has to be significantly lower or else the quinoa will burn. Try turning the heat down to medium or even medium low. Then once the quinoa begins to pop, immediately remove it from the stove and shake it. I didn't even need to put it back on the stove. I just shook it until all the quinoa was popped and it worked just fine. Thanks for pointing this out. I will change the instructions to include this info.

Anonymous said...

I read on another blog that you should rinse the quinoa and lay it out (single layer) over night to dry, or put it in the oven for an hour on 100F. If the quinoa has any moisture in it, it will cause the oil to spit and you don't get that same "air popped" texture :)

Emma said...

If you rinse quinoa, pop it in the oven for an hour (signle layer baking tray) at 100F OR single layer, leave it out over night!

Sandra Hersey said...

I found you through Pinterest and I am going to try this for sure! Thanks for sharing!
Sandra
The Adored Home

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