Quinoa, a grain with a strong grassy flavor, has achieved increasing recognition for its health benefits. According to the "Vegetarian Times," one cup of quinoa contains "4.7 milligrams of iron, 60 milligrams of calcium, 9 grams of protein, 420 milligrams potassium, and 5 grams of fiber." Quinoa is easily ground into flour, and may impart its unique flavor to your baked goods. It pairs well with fruits and nuts, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and coriander, as well as herbs like rosemary.
Toast the quinoa. This step enhances the grains' nutty flavor. In a nonstick frying pan, heat your quinoa grains, stirring frequently, until the grains are lightly golden and start to pop. Remove the pan from heat, and allow the grains to cool.
Pour the toasted, cooled quinoa into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend until the grains are reduced to the size and texture of flour. One cup of whole quinoa grains will yield 1/4 cup of quinoa flour.
Your quinoa flour is now ready to use. If you have not used quinoa flour before, try to pick a recipe that already contains quinoa flour so that you will have a chance to learn the specific effects of its taste and texture in baking.
If you would like to substitute quinoa flour in a recipe that does not originally call for it, be sure to keep a few things in mind. Because the flavor is so strong and its texture not necessarily suitable to produce a well-structured baked good on its own, it may be safest to use only a small proportion of quinoa flour in baked goods, using all-purpose flour for the rest of your recipe's flour requirement.
- "Vegetarian Times"; Quinoa: A South American Supergrain; Arin O'Brien; October 1996
- "A Fork in the Trail: Mouthwatering Meals and Tempting Treats for the Backcountry"; Laurie Ann March; 2008
- "Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours"; Kim Boyce and Amy Scattergood; 2010
- Quinoa's fat content means that the grains, in whole or flour form, may go rancid if stored at room temperature. To prevent this, store your quinoa flour in the refrigerator, and use it as soon as possible.