I saw a recipe recently that called for “Puffed Quinoa”, and with it were a number of comments where people asked “where do I get that?”. A quick google search showed I could buy it from Amazon, of course, as well as get it from a number of local health food stores. I also found a recipe to make it myself, which I decided to try, with some slight modifications.
1. Pour as much quinoa as you’d like into a bowl, and let soak in water for a while. (One recipe said rinse it, another said soak. So I soaked for a while, which was the time it took me to mow the lawn. Call it an hour.)
2. Put some cheesecloth in a strainer, and drain the quinoa.
3. Spread the seeds out, and let dry overnight. Or put in the oven at a very low heat for a couple of hours, mixing occassionally. Be sure it’s low enough to not cook, just dry. I did it at 100 degrees, as low as my oven goes.
4. In a saucepan with a good lid, heat on medium about a tablespoon of oil, enough to cover the bottom. Pour enough of the quinoa seed in to make a single layer on the bottom.
5. Cover, and shake just like if you were making popcorn, until you hear them start popping.
6. When the popping sound slows down, they’re done.
7. Repeat as needed to finish up as much as you need.
In my opinion, this is much more toasted than it is puffed. But for the recipe I was looking at, some sort of granola bar, it will be perfect.
I tried toasting three different ways.
- With the oil worked best. I went really light on it, since I don’t like to have too much.
- With nothing worked okay. I ended up burning this batch, I think because I got the heat too high.
- With cooking spray. This worked about as well as the oil, and given the choice, I’d rather oil “real” oil to cook with, since I can see how much I’m actually using.
- I didn’t try with butter, but I would imagine that would work well.
As for it “popping”, I don’t believe that’s what happening. I think the sound is just the seeds cracking from the heat, similar to how coffee does when you roast it. However, it does seem to “pop” a bit as the seeds split. After the first 2 batches, I didn’t bother with the lid, and just used a spoon to stir. A couple sees got out of the pot, but not like if I were doing popcorn.