Native Americans began cultivating both corn and quinoa thousands of years ago. Quinoa was a staple food for the ancient Incans; the name means "mother grain" in their language, according to Purdue University. You can use quinoa as a gluten-free alternative to popcorn, though it will not pop as large as popcorn because the grain is smaller. The method for popping quinoa resembles the method for air-popping popcorn. In addition to eating it on its own, you can add popped quinoa to granola or cereal.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet
- Vegetable oil spray or butter-flavoured spray
Place the desired amount of quinoa in a strainer and run water over it to rinse off the bitter coating. This is unnecessary if your quinoa is prerinsed; the package should state whether it is.
Allow the quinoa to dry.
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add the quinoa in a single layer.
Shake the skillet or stir the quinoa continually to keep it from burning.
Remove the skillet from the heat as soon as you notice a roasting smell. Immediately move the quinoa to a bowl.
Spray the quinoa with vegetable oil or butter-flavoured spray and sprinkle it with salt. Toss the quinoa to coat it evenly.
Tips and warnings
- Add pepper, chilli powder or your favourite spice to the popped quinoa for extra flavour.
- If you need to pop more quinoa than will fit in a single layer in your skillet, pop it in multiple single-layer batches so that it will heat evenly.
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