How to Sprout Quinoa

Four Methods:Preparing Your QuinoaSoaking and Draining Your QuinoaStarting the Sprouting ProcessStoring the Quinoa Sprouts

Quinoa is the grain-like sprouts of a quinoa plant. Quinoa grains are high in protein [1] , and they produce a nutty, crunchy flavor when you cook them in a saucepan, especially if they are toasted prior to cooking. These nutritious grains have grown in popularity as a breakfast cereal and as a whole-grain side dish with dinner. If you’d like to grow your own quinoa, it’s not an impossible task.

Method 1
Preparing Your Quinoa

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    Gather your supplies. For this project you’ll need a fine mesh strainer, 2/3 cup of quinoa seeds, a bowl, water, a tray or plate, cloth, and a sealed glass container or plastic bag. [2]
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    Rinse the quinoa seeds in a bowl. You need to wash the quinoa seeds to remove the soapy outer coating, which is known as saponin. Quinoa should always be rinsed prior to sprouting and cooking.
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    Use a fine mesh strainer to gather your quinoa. Quinoa is small, so you need to make sure you don’t lose any grains. After rinsing the saponin from the quinoa, use a fine-mesh strainer to collect the rinsed quinoa while draining the soapy water into the sink. Transfer the quinoa to a seed sprouter or into a second bowl.
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    Add approximately two-thirds of a cup (approximately 113 grams) of quinoa seed to a second bowl. If you have a seed sprouter, you can transfer your quinoa to that at this time. [3]

Method 2
Soaking and Draining Your Quinoa

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    Pour cool water into the bowl or seed sprouter. You need to soak quinoa for an extended period of time before you do anything else. Make sure you add enough water so that the quinoa seeds are fully submerged. The temperature should be no warmer than 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). It doesn’t need to be freezing cold, but if you turn your water faucet to as cold as it can go that’s probably a good </ref>temperature.
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    Soak the quinoa seeds. Allow the quinoa to soak for up to 30 minutes. There’s no harm in leaving them in there a little bit longer, but try not to forget them and leave them in the dish the whole night. This may weaken and dissolve some of the quinoa grains.
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    Drain the water after 30 minutes of soaking. [4] Carefully drain the excess water from the sprouter or bowl over the sink. The quinoa should remain in the bowl or the sprouter. One good way to do this is by playing the edge of a spatula in front of the quinoa seeds. The water will still pour around the edges but the quinoa will remain in place inside the bowl. If necessary, use a strainer. However, it’s simpler just to keep the quinoa in the bowl. It’s okay if a little extra water is left behind as long as it isn’t too much.
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    Rinse the quinoa seeds again periodically. Remember to use cool water with a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees F (or 15 and 21 degrees C). Repeat the rinsing and draining process every 8 to 12 hours. </ref>

Method 3
Starting the Sprouting Process

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    Move the quinoa to a dark place. Transfer the quinoa from the bowl or sprouter to a large tray or plate. Move the quinoa away from direct sunlight to a darker area at room temperature. Cover the quinoa with a cloth to keep away dust or bugs.
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    Continue the rinse cycle. Once the quinoa is in a dark area you still have to continue to rinse it. Place the quinoa into a sprouter or a bowl again to repeat the rinse and drain cycle. [5] As mentioned previously, continue to rinse and drain the quinoa every 8 to 12 hours over a period of 2 days. Allow time for the quinoa sprouts to dry out for future use after the final rinse and dry cycle.
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    Move the quinoa back to the plate or tray. Put the tray of quinoa back into a dark room to continue the sprouting process. Place the cloth back over the quinoa for protection. [6] The quinoa should eventually sprout into a plate full of spiral-shaped roots that are at least one-quarter inch in length. Let the quinoa sprouts dry out for up to 12 hours, since excess moisture damages the quinoa crop.

Method 4
Storing the Quinoa Sprouts

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    Store the quinoa in a safe place. Once the quinoa sprouts are completely dried, place the quinoa sprouts into a sealed plastic bag or a sealed glass container. Store the quinoa sprouts in the refrigerator to keep them cool and to ensure freshness.
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    Use the quinoa sprouts in a timely manner. You can’t let them sit in a container forever. For best results, eat the quinoa sprouts or use them in a salad or casserole as soon as possible. Quinoa stays fresh for up to two weeks after sprouting. [7]
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    Gather your quinoa. You can remove the quinoa sprouts with your hands and you don’t need to follow any special procedure. Since the grains are small it may take a bit of time, and you should place a pan or plate under the sprout so that you don’t lose any excess sprouts.

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Categories: Growing Vegetables