Did you know that you can make flour out of quinoa seeds? This superfood is so versatile; you can cook it as it is or mill it and use the flour to make tasty pastries.
Quinoa flour is a great gluten-free alternative for baking. It’s easy to make and has a mild, nutty flavor.
It is not difficult to prepare this flour. In this post, you will get super easy steps to follow to help you get the best quinoa flour.
Read on to get more insight on how best to prepare quinoa flour.
Does Quinoa Flour Need to Be Rinsed?
Before milling, there are certain steps you need to take to prepare. One such step is rinsing the quinoa seeds.
Quinoa seeds can be bitter. Luckily, you can get rid of this bitterness by rinsing. You don’t want bitter-tasting flour, so you must remember to rinse the seeds.
Why rinse these seeds?
Simple. Rinsing quinoa removes the natural coating called saponin. Saponin can make quinoa have a soapy feel or a bitter taste. Consequently, you are likely to get lumpy flour when you mill unrinsed quinoa.
Additionally, when you buy boxed quinoa, whether or not it is pre-rinsed, ensure you rinse again when you get home.
But don’t wash quinoa seeds too much or too often. The nutrients dissolve easily, which will eventually make them taste bitter and smell rancid.
The best way to rinse quinoa is to soak it in water for at least 2 hours or overnight (2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa). And then drain the water away.
You also have to ensure that the rinse water does not become contaminated with bacteria during this process.
To get around this problem, it’s best to use a large bowl or container and then pour the contents into a strainer to strain out the seeds from any impurities that might be present in the rinse water.
Since you want to make flour out of these seeds, ensure you dry them properly before milling.
Just place in a large bowl with the lid on and place it in the oven at 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
This will maintain their flavor and oil content, resulting in a great flour that resembles whole wheat.
Does Quinoa Flour Need to Be Soaked?
Quinoa has a slightly bitter, astringent taste. This is often referred to as the “natural flavor” of quinoa. Quinoa can also be described as having a hard texture in the mouth.
Soaking quinoa flour helps to remove the bitter flavor, soften the mouthfeel and make the texture more pleasing to eat.
Soaking is done by first rinsing quinoa flour with water several times until there are no longer any bubbles left from rinsing.
Then place it in a bowl or pot of purified water (brought to a boil and then cooled) and allow it to soak for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
After soaking, the mix will be soft and slightly squishy. At this point, you can use it in recipes.
Soaking does not affect the nutritional value of quinoa flour, but it affects how it tastes and feels in your mouth. The quinoa will have a softer texture, and the bitterness is gone.
Soaking also eliminates any cooking issues you may have encountered when using unsoaked flour. Soaking makes cooking time shorter and results in more consistent recipes.
How to Prepare Quinoa Flour
It is quite easy to prepare quinoa flour. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you make premium quality quinoa flour.
Remember to get the best quality quinoa seeds. Gently wash them to remove dirt and debris from seeds. It is very important to use spring or filtered water rather than tap water for washing purposes.
Soak them in water for about 2 hours before you grind them. This will help remove the bitter taste of quinoa.
Step 1: Soak Quinoa seeds
Take the soaked quinoa seeds and soak them in water (2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa). Soaking can take up to 4 hours, so maybe you want to start before you go to bed at night.
After soaking, rinse them well with fresh water in a colander for about 2 minutes. Make sure that no dirt remains on the seeds.
Step 2: Dry the seeds
Place the bowl in a dehydrator, set at about 115 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 hours. You can also place it on top of your oven’s pilot light as long as you don’t turn the electric oven on.
Alternatively, place them in the sun to dry, but do not leave them unattended for too long as you will attract birds and bugs to the smell of freshly ground quinoa seeds.
Either way, the point is to dry the quinoa flour out.
Step 3: Blend the seeds
After drying, place the seeds in a small food processor with a strainer insert. Then pulse them until they have been pulverized into a flour-like consistency.
Remember to watch out, as the quinoa is going to be flying everywhere.
Step 4: Add optional ingredients
Pour your homemade quinoa flour into a bowl. Add your choice of optional superfoods or vitamins and mix well.
Below is a list of other superfoods to add to your quinoa flour. They are optional additions, and you can choose not to use them.
Nonetheless, if you are on an alkaline diet, these are excellent additions to your quinoa flour:
- Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious addition to your flour. They not only enhance the taste and aroma, but also enrich your flour with minerals. Pumpkin seeds are rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
- Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are naturally alkalizing. Apart from that, they are a great source of fiber and healthy fats. They contain 41% polyunsaturated fats, 15% saturated fats, and 39% monosaturated fats.
Millet is an excellent source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. More specifically, it is rich in niacin, which regulates enzyme reactions and is essential for healthy organ function.
- Chia seeds
These are very versatile ingredients. They can be added to most recipes, as they have a strong taste and consistency. They are highly nutritious and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Sea salt
Sea salt is a rich source of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, essential for strong bones. It also improves the taste by giving foods more flavor.
Step 5: Store your homemade quinoa flour
Store your homemade quinoa flour in an airtight glass container. Store this flour in a cool and dark place so that no bugs or mice can get to it and contaminate it.
Also, make sure that you use a spoon to scoop out the flour since your fingers will leave prints on the glass.
Remember to sift blended seeds before making pancakes or baking any products with quinoa flour. This will eliminate any chunky bits of seeds that might ruin the end product.
Does Quinoa Flour Need to Be Refrigerated?
Most flours remain fresh when stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and quinoa flour is no different.
But does quinoa flour need to be refrigerated? The answer is yes and no. If you’re going to use your quinoa flour soon, then no, it does not need to be refrigerated. However, if you are going to store your quinoa flour for any length of time, then yes, you should put it in the fridge because doing so will extend its shelf life and prevent spoilage.
Refrigeration is a simple way of prolonging the shelf life of your flour and protecting it from spoilage resulting from exposure to light or high temperatures.
Heat and light (of any kind) cause the flour to lose its nutritional value and spoil faster. If you refrigerate your quinoa flour, then heat will not have as much impact on it.
If you decide to put your quinoa flour in the refrigerator, ensure that you store it in an airtight container because exposure can still occur if the container is not airtight.
Airtight containers can still lose their effectiveness over time, but they are much better than plastic bags or, worse, open buckets.
Also, make sure that your quinoa flour does not get too cold before using it.
If you remove your quinoa flour from the refrigerator and use it as cold – right out of the fridge, it will gum up your recipes and be hard to work with.
Why is quinoa flour bitter?
Quinoa flour may be bitter because of the saponin coating on the outside of raw quinoa seeds. Many recipes call for rinsing or washing quinoa before use, and that step may remove some, but not all, of the bitter taste.
Is quinoa flour low in calories?
Compared to other plant-based proteins, quinoa flour is high in calories. Quinoa flour contains approximately 200 calories per 100g. Comparatively, wheat flour contains 465 calories per 100g and cornstarch 633 calories per 100g.
Is quinoa flour good for diabetes?
Quinoa flour is high in fiber, which helps lower the blood sugar level and prevents the absorption of dietary sugars. This is particularly helpful for people with diabetes.
It is also rich in protein which helps the body make use of insulin optimally. The result is a slow and steady decrease in blood sugar levels, thus preventing spikes and dips.
Quinoa flour has properties that inhibit an enzyme known as alpha-amylase that, when activated, increases blood sugar.
How long does quinoa flour last?
Quinoa flour has a rather long shelf life. It will stay on your pantry shelf for 6 to 9 months, longer if kept in a cool and dry place.
You save money making your quinoa flour instead of buying it. You also get to enjoy its benefits in your bread, muffins, cookies, and other baked goods recipes.