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Have you had popped quinoa?

Quinoa queen Wendy Polisi, who created the website CookingQuinoa.net, has delighted her quinoa-loving readers (including me) with The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook (Skyhorse, April 2012), which offers over 200 pages of quinoa-inspired cuisine. I love this ancient superfood and have become especially enamored with Polisi’s recipe for popped quinoa, which she keeps on hand to sprinkle on desserts. 
Quinoa queen Wendy Polisi, who created the website CookingQuinoa.net, has delighted her quinoa-loving readers (including me) with The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook (Skyhorse, April 2012), which offers over 200 pages of quinoa-inspired cuisine. I love this ancient superfood and have become especially enamored with Polisi’s recipe for popped quinoa, which she keeps on hand to sprinkle on desserts. 

Why pop quinoa?

Simmering quinoa in water or broth for a side dish isn’t the only way this amazing grain (which is actually a seed) can be served. Craving a crisp protein-packed alternative to nuts or granola? Polisi encourages popping quinoa, which pops like popcorn, to give it a lighter texture. She writes, “The change in appearance is subtle, but the change in texture is fairly significant.” The quinoa expert features popped quinoa in her signature recipes, such as Quinoa Chocolate Bark Sundae, Mango Parfait with Quinoa Crunch, and Quinoa Chocolate Bars. All of these recipes and many more can be found in her cookbook — not all of them are vegan, but they can certainly be modified to be vegan-friendly.

Popped Quinoa

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
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  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:

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  1. Spread quinoa on a baking sheet in a single layer and allow to dry completely. You can also place quinoa in a large skillet over low heat and cook until dry.
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  3. Heat oil in a popcorn popper and allow the popper to get warm. Add quinoa and cook for about 5 minutes or until quinoa is lightly browned.
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  5. As an alternative, you can heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and cover pan. Cook, shaking pan often to prevent burning, until quinoa is lightly browned.
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  7. Let quinoa cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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