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
You can pop quinoa very easily following these steps:
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:
- 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!
- Popped quinoa is great to add to granola, granola bars, cookies, rice crispy treats, homemade crackers, and other snacks.
- You can sprinkle popped quinoa over your hot cereal (like oatmeal) to add extra texture and crunch.
- Sprinkle popped quinoa over yogurt for a delicious breakfast.
- Sprinkled popped quinoa over a salad to add yummy flavor and texture.