Quinoa has a bitter outer covering with saponins. These saponins act as a plant’s defence mechanism, preventing predators from consuming the seeds. Quinoa would be sour if not treated. It’d be bitter, grassy, and inedible.
Since quinoa has gained popularity in the last decade, it has become routine practice for manufacturers/processors to pre-rinse it. Quinoa sold in North America and elsewhere has often been rinsed three times. This should eliminate most saponins and neutralise the bitterness.
Why You Should Rinse Quinoa
Some folks are just more sensitive to saponins. It implies you should rinse it at home before cooking it. What makes you more sensitive? So, if you think cooked quinoa tastes like soap or grass, that’s a sign. Also, if you get an upset stomach after eating quinoa, that’s an indication. Rinse it before cooking it.
Why Quinoa Can Have a Bitter Taste?
Quinoa is a grain-like seed.Who likes seeds? Birds. Quinoa has evolved a natural covering of saponin to protect it from being eaten by birds. Saponin is bitter. Thus, birds don’t consume it. Unless you do anything about it, it will deter you from eating it.
How to Prevent Bitter Quinoa?
Fortunately, avoiding bitter quinoa is easy. Rinse uncooked quinoa in cold running water for about a minute until the water runs clear. Because quinoa is so little, a mesh strainer works better than a colander because it doesn’t get rinsed out of the holes.
You can sift the quinoa with your fingertips while rinsing it to ensure it is properly rinsed. Once the water is clear, shake it out and prepare it as usual. Most quinoa makers rinse the quinoa before packaging it, but if your quinoa tastes bitter, they either didn’t do it well or didn’t do it at all. A brief washing will ensure your quinoa doesn’t taste bitter.
Due to the grain’s popularity, new quinoa strains with lower saponin levels have been generated through selective breeding. So maybe bitter quinoa will be a thing of the past. Until then, enjoy this amazing food and prevent bitterness with this simple advice.
How to Repair Cooked Bitter Quinoa?
In fact, the covering on the outside of each tiny grain-like seed can be removed by rinsing the quinoa several times before cooking. This will remove the bitterness.