8 Hacks Every Quinoa Obsessive Needs To Know

Photo: Courtesy of Damn Delicious.
We love cooking with quinoa for a lot of reasons, but its versatility is high up on the list. Plain quinoa can become the base for everything from a breakfast parfait to a hearty dinner bowl. And cooking it is pretty simple. Most of the time, recipes that call for quinoa just say "cook according to instructions on box," and that will steer your right nearly always. But you don't need a box or a recipe to even cook it.
If you buy it in bulk or want to cook less or more than the package instructions call for, the basic instructions are incredibly simple. You just need to use one part quinoa to two parts water or liquid of your choice. Bring to a simmer and lower heat to low and cover, cooking until liquid is absorbed. If you started with one cup of dry quinoa, that takes around 15 minutes, though cooking times will vary based on amount of quinoa. Once the water is absorbed, fluff with a fork and serve or let cook.
If you want to get more advanced than that, there's an endless number of ways to change things up. Ahead, easy tweaks to making cooking with quinoa even better.
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Photo: Courtesy of Connoisseurus Veg.
Bake With Raw Quinoa
Think of it as a hipper version of a multigrain muffin. The addition of raw quinoa adds both protein and texture to a morning baked good.

Try it: Quinoa Poppyseed Muffins With Date Butter
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Photo: Courtesy of Cookie & Kate.
Simmer In Broth For A Flavor Boost
Cooking in broth, or a combination of broth and water, is a great way to add flavor to plain quinoa. The ratio of quinoa to liquid stays the same.

Try It: Broccoli, Cheddar & Quinoa Gratin
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Photo: Courtesy of One Lovely Life.
Add An Onion
Another way to flavor raw quinoa is to simmer with an onion, or any other hearty root vegetable or dried spice you might find in a broth or rice recipe.

Try It: Mexican Stuffed Peppers
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Photo: Courtesy of Damn Delicious.
Add It Into Soups
Raw quinoa can go right into soups or chilis and can be a great way to add some more oomph to a favorite dish. Just be aware that you may need to add more broth or water if you're cooking without a recipe or tweaking an existing one.

Try It: Superfood Quinoa Soup
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Photo: Courtesy of Baked Bree.
Batch Cook & Reap The Benefits All Week
If you're making quinoa for a recipe, double it and keep half to use as bases for future meals, like this breakfast parfait.

Try It: Roasted Strawberries & Quinoa
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Photo: Courtesy of Pinch of Yum.
Slow Cook It
Quinoa can also be cooked in the slow cooker using the same two-to-one ratio. You can do this for a quinoa main dish, like this take on primavera, for stews or soups (just make sure to have extra liquid) or to batch-cook plain for sides or a base.

Try It: Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera
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Photo: Courtesy of My Name Is Yeh.
Add Coconut Milk For Any Easy Sweet Dish
Substituting in coconut milk for some or all of the liquid makes a sweet porridge, add more to make your own version of rice pudding. Flavor with a pinch of cinnamon and your favorite fruits, fresh or dried.

Try It: Coconut Quinoa With Dates And Almonds
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Photo: Courtesy of the Minimalist Baker.
Mix It In With Granola
Fans of extra-crunchy granola will love this easy trick: stir in raw quinoa to your homemade granola before baking and cook normally.

Try It: 7 Ingredient Quinoa Granola

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