What Does Quinoa Taste Like?

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In this article, we’re explaining quinoa. You’ll learn about the taste and texture, how to eat it, and what ingredients transform it into a delicious feast.

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Let’s get started…

What Does Quinoa Taste Like? 

Let’s begin with the fundamental question: What is quinoa? It’s eaten like a grain, but it’s actually a seed in the amaranth family, along with chard, spinach and beets.

Quinoa is nutty with a defined grassy flavor that stimulates the bitter part of the palate. This seed is a little earthier than fresh-cut grass, but that may come to mind when you try it.

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Quinoa Texture 

Dried quinoa is hard and brittle, but once it sucks up moisture, it becomes light and chewy. The shorter the cook time, the firmer it will be. Well-cooked quinoa is chewy and tender.

Interestingly, the little “grains” don’t tend to mush together like rice when you eat them. You’ll likely feel them individually on your tongue as you chew them.

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How Does Quinoa Taste Compared to Rice? 

To the observant palate, quinoa and rice and in two different worlds of flavor. Brown rice may be the closest to quinoa in that it’s earthy, but it lacks the bitter and grassy notes that stand out in quinoa.

Now if you’re substituting quinoa in a rice dish with lots of vegetables and seasonings, chances are, you won’t be able to tell the difference. The flavor of quinoa isn’t that strong.

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Can You Eat Quinoa Raw? 

Yes, you can eat quinoa raw. That is, you can it eat soaked instead of cooked. You wouldn’t want to nibble on the dry grains as they’re hard and not particularly digestible.

Mixing quinoa with water (making sure to rinse the quinoa first) is what you would do to eat it raw, then preferably sprout it. This can take a day, maybe two—it’s pretty quick.

This video below shows how easy it is…

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How Do You Make Quinoa Taste Good? 

The best thing for quinoa in terms of flavor is proper seasoning. If you’re making it as a side, add some vegetable broth or spices that would complement the main dish to the water as it simmers.

In general, any robust spices will make quinoa delectable. Think about what fresh herbs you like and add them in along with garlic, onions, dried fruits and olives.

Quinoa Recipe Tips 

Cooked quinoa is a fast meal, ready in 20 minutes. But there are so many things you can do with quinoa besides replace rice with it. Check them out.

Buffalo quinoa bites are the ultimate party food. This recipe includes a creamy tahini dipping sauce with a “cheesy” zing from nutritional yeast.

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Here are the ingredients:

  • White beans
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Vegan buffalo sauce
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Chickpea flour
  • Tahini
  • Hulled hemp seeds
  • Chives
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dill
  • Lemon juice
  • Water

Salads are popular dishes for quinoa. This one is fresh, zesty and filling with fresh herbs, lemon juice and chickpeas.

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Quinoa
  • Water
  • Chickpeas
  • Cucumber
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red onion
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Wrap Up 

Tired of rice? Try quinoa. It’s not a grain, but rather a seed that tastes grassy, nutty and slightly bitter. To make it super tasty, season it with vegetable stock, herbs, garlic and onions as well as any dried fruits and veggies you enjoy. Make salads, fun buffalo quinoa bites and veggie burgers you’ll dream about with chewy quinoa.

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