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…
- Thrive Market
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!
- 2cupsorganic quinoa
- 2tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- additional water or bone brothmeasure the amount using the formula below
- 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
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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.
Hi, I just read this article on Fluffy soaked quinoa in the instant pot. If I soak quinoa in apple cider vinegar, can that leach out nutrients as well? and if water is absorbed into the quinoa after soaking,how do we know the seeds are not reabsorbing the phytic acid and saponins. You can’t rinse out phytic acid and saponins if it’s been reabsorb back into the seed, right ?Has this method been verified to be effective.
Phytic acid and saponins are not “soaked out”, they are neutralized. So, cooking the quinoa doesn’t mean the quinoa reabsorbs them.
I forgot to rate the recipe in my previous comments
Hey I just attempted this instant pot fluffy quinoa recipe..And me being not a total vegan/vegetarian or raw foodist,I’m still conscious of how I eat.Im healthy eater..So in saying that I found your soaking and cooking quinoa method heaven sent.Im currently switching over to all alkaline grains like millet,amaranth,sprouted rice,kamut etc etc.So will this method work for those grains I just mentioned with the instant pot as well?i love your blog and your simple yet very effective philosophy on eating healthy delicious Whole Foods.I have a similar forever growing philosophy on eating a more plant based diet myself..I found your… Read more »
Hey Jamar! I’m so glad you’ve found my site helpful! Yes, you can use this method for those other grains you mentioned, however just be aware that the cook times may likely be different. I haven’t tried kamut, millet, or amaranth in my IP yet, so you may have to experiment a bit. However, I DO have an Instant Pot Sprouted Brown Rice recipe: https://allthenourishingthings.com/instant-pot-sprouted-brown-rice/
Soaking for 8 hours, then cooking in the IP for FOUR minutes is not cooking it in THREE minutes… recipe looks good and I’ll try it, but at the very least, you might want to update your tag lines to match the actually cooking time.
Sorry about that typo. It’s fixed now!
Thanks for the recipe! It was clear and NOT at all confusing. I am cooking soaked quinoa this morning to make veggie cabbage rolls and your explanation and math were very helpful.
Awww, you’re welcome!
[…] over at All The Nourishing Things (formerly Today in Dietzville) has an excellent tutorial on how to make fluffy, soaked quinoa in your Instant Pot. It’s so easy, and makes the most delicious, perfectly cooked quinoa! Here’s a photo of […]
Why not just say, “add back amount of liquid you caught. “ No math needed. Wording was very confusing and then incorrect when explaining the math in “notes”. Math was opposite. Made it more confusing.
I do love soaking the quinoa though! Removes all bitterness and is the only way my husband enjoys it!
I always soak grains & nuts in salted water overnight then dehydrate them until crispy but I’ve been confused about the seeds. Nourishing traditions says to sprout them into sprouts. Can the seeds like sesame seeds be soaked and dehydrated like the nuts and grains or do you have to sprout them into sprouts?
I don’t believe sesame seeds have to be soaked/sprouted or dehydrated, Lynn. I never have anyway, and I’ve been soaking/sprouting most of our nuts and seeds since 2010. I think there are a handful that you don’t/can’t sprout/soak: chia, flax, sesame.