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Do You Need to Rinse Your Quinoa? [VIDEO]

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

In this video I'll show you how to rinse quinoa to remove that bitter taste, leaving you with a pot of fluffy, protein-rich quinoa ready for any recipe!


One of the most common questions I get from readers is, “Why don't you rinse your quinoa?”. Well before I get to that, let's first chat about why quinoa needs to be rinsed in the first place.

Quinoa contains a bitter tasting outer coating which contains saponins. Essentially these saponins serve as a defense mechanism to the plant as it's growing – it keeps predators from eating the seeds.  If left untreated, quinoa would taste terrible. It would be bitter, grassy and basically inedible.

Since quinoa has grown in popularity over the past decade or so, it has become standard practice for the manufacturers/processors to pre-rinse the quinoa before it comes to market. Typically, the quinoa you purchase in North America and elsewhere in the world has been rinsed about three times. This should remove practically all the saponins and make the bitter flavor go away.

Why You Might Want to Rinse Your Quinoa

But, here's the thing…some people are simply more sensitive to the saponins than others. This means you'll want to spend the extra time to rinse it at home before you cook it.

How do you tell if you're more sensitive? Well, if you're one of those people who thinks quinoa tastes like soap or grass after you've cooked, that's a sign. Or, if you've noticed that you have an upset stomach or something of that nature after you eat quinoa, that's another sign. All you should have to do is just rinse it before you cook it.

In today's video, I show you how to rinse quinoa to remove that bitter flavor, then show you how to prepare it in your own kitchen. One thing to note is that if you choose to not cook your right away, you can dry it on a baking sheet either in a very low-heat oven or just air dry it. I'd recommend that you store your quinoa in the fridge after you let it dry just to be sure that it doesn't get rancid on you.

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  1. I’ve always rinsed coz it said to lol But a couple times I forgot and I didn’t really notice any bitterness. I love it either way. Having said that I’ll keep rinsing when I remember to

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