Fluffy Soaked Quinoa In The Instant Pot
Cook perfectly fluffy quinoa in just 3 minutes in your pressure cooker! Soaked first to reduce phytic acid and saponins for better digestion, this is the easiest and best way to cook quinoa! This Instant Pot Fluffy Soaked Quinoa makes a great side dish, or meal prep it to use throughout the week!
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Nature’s perfect plant-based protein meets the hottest trend in 21st century cooking…
That sounds like an infomercial, doesn’t it? 😛
But really, quinoa is like rice… but SO much more nutrient-dense!
And, I can use my Instant Pot to cook perfectly fluffy quinoa in just 3 (yes, you read that right) minutes!
Why I Love Quinoa
Fun fact: quinoa is actually a seed — NOT a grain.
Just like wild rice is a pseudo-grain, so is quinoa. So if you’re following a gluten-free/grain-free diet (and tolerate quinoa), you can definitely eat it!
Quinoa is also an ancient food. Called “the gold of the Incas”, quinoa has been eaten traditionally in South America for thousands of years.
Quinoa is high in iron, magnesium, manganese, and Vitamin B2.
Finally, unlike most other grain-like foods, quinoa is a complete protein and a great source of plant protein!
Yes, it’s more expensive than rice, but it’s way less expensive than grass-fed meats. (I’m totally not saying that quinoa nourishes us the same way grass-fed meats do or that it has as much protein!)
So, although I don’t advocate for a totally vegan or vegetarian diet, there is a lot of value in including a variety of plant foods, like quinoa, in our diets. These foods help balance the blood sugar, relieve constipation, and keep our digestion healthy.
Ways To Eat Quinoa
Use quinoa as you would use rice — with stir-fried veggies, add it to soups, or just eat it as a side dish on its own.
I love cooking a big pot of quinoa and dehydrating it to make the base of my delicious Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola — on of the few granola recipes you’ll find that has no nuts or oats!
If you have some leftover quinoa, add it to burgers or salmon cakes.
Quinoa is a great meat-stretcher, too! I frequently saute a bunch of veggies, then add a little bit of cooked ground meat and 3 to 4 cups of cooked quinoa for a yummy skillet dinner that gives us lots of leftovers.
Because quinoa has a neutral, slightly nutty flavor, it pairs well with all sorts of spices, seasonings, herbs, and sauces.
Where To Buy Quinoa
Quinoa is definitely a pantry staple that every home should have!
Yet, oftentimes small boxes or bags of it can be costly at the regular grocery store. Plus, if you need to stay gluten-free because of Celiac, you can buy less expensive quinoa in bulk bins because cross-contamination is a real thing.
So, if you don’t have to be certified gluten-free, the best places to find quinoa are…
- bulk bins at your health food store or supermarket
- bulk bags from Azure Standard <– by far the best bulk price!
If you do need certified gluten-free…
Why is it soaked?
To make our quinoa easily digested, I start with a long soak in water and apple cider vinegar. This reduces phytic acid and the bitter saponins (outer coating that protects quinoa from insects) in quinoa that cause digestive distress.
Phytic acid is found in all grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. It binds to the minerals in the foods you eat, preventing your body from absorbing them properly. Too much phytic acid in the diet leads to loss of minerals, tooth decay, and nutritional deficiencies.
If you’re going to eat grains, seeds, nuts, or legumes, always, always, ALWAYS soak or sprout them first! (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell is the BEST resource I have ever found that explains why this is so important and how to do it for just about every grain, nut, seed, and legume imaginable!)
So here’s how you make perfect soaked quinoa in the Instant Pot!
Fluffy Soaked Quinoa In The Instant Pot
Cook perfectly fluffy quinoa in just 3 minutes in your pressure cooker! Soaked first to reduce phytic acid and saponins for better digestion, this is the easiest and best way to cook quinoa! Learn how to cook Soaked Quinoa In The Instant Pot!
- First, place the quinoa, water, and ACV in a glass bowl. Stir together and cover. Set aside for at least 8, but not more than 24 hours.
- See all that bubbly foam? That's the phytic acid being broken down!
- Second, pour the soaked quinoa into a fine mesh sieve, catching the soaking liquid in a bowl or quart-size Pyrex measuring cup.
- I had 1 cup of soaking liquid left after draining my quinoa. So my quinoa absorbed 2 cups of the soaking liquid. To cook the quinoa, I added 1 cup of broth to the Instant Pot.
- Set aside. Then rinse the soaked quinoa very well under cool, running water.
- Place the rinsed quinoa into the Instant Pot.
- Now, note the amount of liquid you caught. Subtract the amount of liquid you caught from the 3 cups of soaking water you started with.
- (For instance, if you caught 2 cups of water, then 3-2=1. So the quinoa absorbed 1 cup of water while soaking. If you caught 2-1/2 cups of water, that means the quinoa absorbed 1/2 cup of water while soaking. And so on.)
- So for 2 cups of soaked quinoa in the Instant Pot, subtract the amount of water the quinoa retained after soaking -- then ADD that amount of cooking liquid back.
- Cooking 2 cups of unsoaked quinoa in the Instant Pot requires 3 cups of liquid. However, soaked quinoa requires less cooking liquid because the quinoa has already absorbed liquid during soaking.
Cook on high pressure in the "Manual" setting for 3 minutes.
- Immediately release the pressure, remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Unless your quinoa was extremely dry or left uncovered and soaking liquid evaporated, you shouldn't be left with less than a cup of soaking liquid.
Never add less than 1 cup of cooking liquid -- even if you caught more than 2 cups of soaking liquid. The Instant Pot requires at least 1 cup of liquid to properly come to pressure.
For example, if you caught 2-1/2 cups of soaking liquid, by my ratios you would only need to add 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. But that's not enough liquid to cause the Instant Pot to come to pressure. So you should add a full cup of cooking liquid anyway.
If there's more than a little bit of cooking liquid left after releasing pressure, cook on high pressure for 1 more minute. That should allow the remaining liquid to absorb.
Our Most Popular Instant Pot Recipes & Posts
Need more no-fail Instant Pot recipes? How about the best Instant Pot information, troubleshooting, and tips? Here are the most popular Instant Pot recipes and posts here at All The Nourishing Things!
- FREE Download: Real Food Instant Pot Dinners 7-Day Meal Plan
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Do you soak quinoa before cooking? Do you use your Instant Pot?
Originally published on February 20, 2017 and updated July 26, 2017, May 2, 2018, and September 14, 2018.