What do you think about pre-washed quinoa?
Okay or not okay to eat?
I read something about the rinsing process taking away some of the health benefits.
-- Dennise O'Grady
Bay Head, NJ
Before I get to the answer, let's explain why quinoa needs to be rinsed prior to cooking.
Turns out this delicious supergrain's external layers are naturally coated with a chemical compound known as saponin.
Saponin serves as a protective barrier against birds, reptiles, and even UV light. It also, however, imparts a very bitter taste.
Rinsing quinoa prior to cooking it guarantees the removal of this bitter flavor.
Since each quinoa grain is so tiny, though, rinsing can be very cumbersome if not done in an appropriately-sized strainer.
Alas, some companies -- like Ancient Harvest -- take care of that by selling pre-rinsed quinoa.
Fortunately, this process does not leach out any vitamins, minerals, or phytonutrients.