How to Cook Quinoa and Other Grains

    Want to cook quinoa to perfection? From the best liquid-to-grain ratio to preparation tips and cooking time, discover how to cook quinoa and other grains like a pro. When you've mastered the art of making fluffy, nutty quinoa, try our expert tips for cooking couscous, wild rice and freekeh too. 

    Follow these simple steps:

  • 1

    How to Cook Quinoa: 
    Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) may be new to us, but it has been an important food in South American cuisine for ages.  Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, it's botanically related to beets and spinach. Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well prior to cooking to remove any bitter coating. Cook quinoa with water to highlight its pure quinoa flavour, or try chicken, vegetable or beef broth for a tasty alternative. A good rule of thumb is a 1 to 2 ratio for quinoa to liquid.  For example, 1 cup rinsed quinoa should be cooked with 2 cups liquid.  Combine quinoa and water/broth in small saucepan; bring to boil.  Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 15 to 20 min. or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 min.  Fluff with fork and serve. Check out these quinoa recipes.

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    How to Cook Couscous: 
    Couscous is produced from cracked durum wheat that has been steamed and allowed to dry.  It is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Preparation of couscous is very simple.  Just bring 1-1/2 cups water or broth to boil in medium saucepan.  Stir in 1 cup couscous; cover.  Remove from heat.  Let stand 6 min.  (Do not lift the lid until the required time has elapsed.) Fluff with fork and serve.

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    How to Cook Wild Rice: 
    Despite its name, wild rice is not technically a rice.  Instead, it's a long-grain marsh grass, once a staple in the diet of Native Americans living around the Great Lakes. Always clean wild rice prior to cooking.  Just place it in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.  To prepare, bring 4 cups water  or broth to boil in large saucepan; stir in 1 cup wild rice.  Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 45 min. to 1 hour or until rice is tender and some of the grains have burst open.  Transfer to strainer to drain any excess liquid. Fluff with fork and serve.

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    How to Cook Freekeh: 
    Freekeh (pronounced free-kuh) is simply green wheat kernels that are harvested early and toasted. Freekeh needs to be cleaned before cooking.  Place uncooked freekeh in medium bowl, then fill bowl with cold water.  Let stand 5 min.  Drain in a fine-mesh strainer.   To prepare, bring 2-1/2 cups water to boil in large saucepan.  Stir in 1 cup freekeh.  Cover; simmer on medium-low heat until freekeh is tender.  For cracked-grain freekeh, this should take 10 to 15 min.  For whole-grain freekeh, allow 45 min.