Buying quinoa seeds to use in savory recipes like rice means it has a nice somewhat nutty flavour and a slightly crunchy texture when cooked but milled as a flour, Quinoa takes on a whole new taste. It is bitter, earthy, and grassy when you use it in baked products and this can easily overpower the other ingredients in a recipe.
One of the reasons for this is SAPONIN, a toxic glycoside which coats the surface of the quinoa seed and has a bitter taste. Saponin is usually washed off or removed via abrasion, before it is sold commercially to consumers. Sometimes though the washing isn’t always thorough enough, and slight trace of saponin remains.
Another element which contributes to the unpleasant taste of Quinoa flour is PHYTIC ACID, this stops the absorption of minerals within the digestive tract – usually this is extracted to a certain degree through heat treating however needs further fermentation and sprouting to break it down thoroughly.
There are several reasons you should continue to use quinoa flour in your baking though.
It has a protein and fiber content higher than wheat, it boasts less carbs than wheat, and it is loaded with vitamin and minerals.
This flour also works fantastically well like pastry flour in baked goods, especially when mixed with other flours.
The good news is there is an awesome straightforward remedy to this nasty tasting Quinoa flour problem, it takes away most of the bitterness and grassy flavours, and furthermore inactivates trypsin inhibitor – here is a basic explanation – Its an enzyme which assists in the hydrolyse of proteins, these are especially crucial to human health. This enzyme is most commonly present in beans and dairy products but occurs in Quinoa in large quantities as well. So its good for us
This is all you have to do to make baking-ready Quinoa flour:
- Preheat your oven to 212 or 215 F (100 C)
- Empty out your Quinoa flour onto baking sheet as many as you need, if you have a new piece of parchment paper then this is even better
- Ensure the coating of flour is not any deeper than 1/4″
- Place into your preheated oven for 2 hrs.
- Take out of the oven and Allow the flour to cool.
Keep in bags in the freezer for up to eight months if you’re not intending to use the flour in the near future. Whole quinoa flour is pretty high in fat, which makes it vulnerable to oxidation and rancidity. Freezing it will increase its shelf-life.