t2

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Make Quinoa More Digestible for Irritable/Fussy Stomachs

 photo IMG_20130331_150154_zps6a2372b7.jpg
Quinoa sushi- I can now eat it no problem!
For a long time after going gluten free, I stayed away from quinoa, because I found it bothered my stomach a lot! Cramping pain that made me want to double over, the works.
People recommended to me that I rinse my quinoa before cooking it. I did that, and it only helped to a degree- after eating rinsed quinoa, my stomach felt strangely empty and uncomfortable, so I felt I'd need to eat a whole other meal after a quinoa serving, because I needed to shove more food in my stomach to take away the discomfort.

I thought quinoa was a no-go for me...

I did some research and discovered that the reason quinoa should be rinsed before use is because it is coated with saponins, natural soaps, which cause stomach issues. With a sensitive stomach, even after rinsing the quinoa, I guess enough saponins remained behind that it still bothered my stomach.
Because of my trying to cook grain free lately, I really wanted to be able to get quinoa to work for me, so I tried seeing if I could tolerate them after washing them very well, and fortunately, I can! Now I can eat and enjoy this delicious, healthy, high protein, gluten free grain without any stomach issues.

How to Make Quinoa More Digestible


1. The way I wash them is I take a fine mesh strainer and place it over a large bowl.

2. I place my quinoa into the mesh strainer.

3. I then fill the bowl up to the top, covering the quinoa in the mesh strainer.

4. Once it's full, I swish the water around for a good 3 minutes or so.

5. I then lift out the strainer with the quinoa, and pour out the water.

6. I then do this at least 2 more times.

7. If there are any suds/soapy looking bubbles left in the water after rinsing the quinoa 2 or 3 times, keep on rinsing, swishing, and washing until no suds remain.

8. Then boil the quinoa, 1 1/2 or 2 cups of water or broth for every 1 cup of quinoa, as you would rice, covered, until it is all absorbed.

9. Alternatively, you can dry the quinoa in a dehydrator, and then grind it to make flour.

Are you a quinoa fan? Has it ever caused you stomach issues? If you don't get issues from quinoa, do you prepare it any special way? If it causes you issues, have you rinsed quinoa this way before to see if it would solve your issues? Does this look like something you'd try out?

Linking up to Real Food Wednesday and Allergy Free Wednesday

25 comments:

  1. You can actually soak your quinoa for an hour or two before you need to use it to help break it down a bit before rinsing, making it easier to digest!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good idea! Thanks! It starts to sprout by then, I've noticed, if you live in a warm area.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I personally have not had any issues digesting quinoa, but we always rinse it before we cook it. My husband also likes to toast it before cooking, he pours the quinoa without water onto our cast iron and stirs it around to lightly brown it. It's lends a wonderful savory flavor this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never tried toasting quinoa- you can toast it even after rinsing it?

      Delete
  4. I have always told anyone who asked me how to prepare quinoa - rinse it, and rinse it, and do that till all the bubbles are gone. And then rinse it again... I've toasted it after rinsing it, by the way. It just takes a bit longer to steam off the bit of water stuck to it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Quinoa is so full of nutrients, it's definately worth the extra rinsing it takes to make it work in the tummy. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I got some organic quinoa from Bulk Barn and when I tried rinsing it I didn't notice any bubbles or suds or anything. Did I not try rinsing it long enough or is it because it was organic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've noticed some quinoa is more sudsy, some less. Could be different companies rinse it different amounts prior to selling it. But even the "prewashed quinoa" I find needs to be rinsed again by me or it causes me stomach issues.

      Delete
  7. I usually buy the pre-washed kind But it still gives me stomach problems. After I eat it I look about 4 months pregnant and am very uncomfortable. You would think the pre-washed kind would have been thoroughly washed, so now I am left wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also found this , which explains why I am having problems However; quinoa does have “gluten like” storage proteins that can mimic prtoeins found in wheat, barley, and rye. The obvious question is: are these storage proteins sufficiently similar to traditional glutens that they could cause an immune reaction in celiac patients or in patients with other forms of gluten sensitivity? According to new research, the answer is yes…

    New Study Identifies Quinoa as a Potential Danger
    A recent research paper published by V.F. Zevallos and co-workers examined 15 different varieties of quinoa, to examine their safety for people with celiac disease.

    The quinoa proteins were tested to determine if they led to an increased production of IFN (interferon)-gamma and IL( interleukin) 15. These inflammatory chemicals (also called cytokines) play important roles for the human immune response to gluten. What did the researchers find? This result suggests that quinoa is not necessarily safe for ingestion in those with gluten sensitivity. Additionally, the results shed more light on the traditional flawed thought that proteins in wheat, barley, and rye are the only food proteins to be problematic in patients with gluten sensitivity.

    http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/gluten-free-society-blog/is-quinoa-a-safe-gluten-free-food-alternative/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting. I absolutely love quinoa but get such bad stomach aches from it. I am going to try this. Thanks for the tips.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow - I'm amazed to come across all this info! I thought it was only my quirky little system that couldn't cope with quinoa cooked the usual way. I have taken to steaming it which seems to take out the saponins, but I would definitely give this washing method a try. Thanks for the idea! I tried some quinoa cooked in water today and have been burping all afternoon, sometimes it has even made me sick right away, so it's very interesting to know that other people get similar problems.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes I too get a really bad stomach ache when I eat quinoa. On one occasion because I didn't have enough quinoa, I mixed some rice with it and did not get a stomach ache. Today I had quinoa for lunch and presto! another stomach ache. When I got home I ate some rice crackers (about 1o of them) and within about 10 minutes the stomach was gone. I am gluten intolerant so therefore eat quinoa because I'm so limited. Now I have a concern after reading the above comment that quinoa is not necessarily a good choice for gluten intolerant people.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you so much for writing this! I though I was crazy, the only one to have such a fucked up stomach not to be able to eat quinoa. You made my day with this column. Thank you, Alice.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I used to eat quinoa all the time without issues. Then sometime during my pregnancy I had what I thought were gallbladder attacks....the pain was intense! Although the symptoms were similar to gallbladder attacks, my diet did not warrant them. I finally narrowed it down to quinoa and was happy to find out that I wasn't crazy. I love quinoa but am so scared to eat it. I will certainly try this!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's 3am and I can't sleep with a bad stomach ache. Interesting to see that it might have been to do with the quinoa I made for dinner..! My stomach also felt strangely empty after eating a good amount of what I thought would be a filling grain. Your method sounds good but this experience is making me think I won't feel like trying it for a good while..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank everybody for their comments! As others have commented, I thought I was the only one this happened to. I was bent over, crying in pain after eating quinoa. Be sure to be more careful with it next time!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! I, too, have severe upper abdominal pain every time I enjoy quinoa. I have always rinsed my quinoa very well prior to cooking, but it doesn't seem to make a difference for me! I always feel like i need to stuff my belly with crackers or rice after eating quinoa, just to get rid of the pain!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Glad to know I'm not the only one Googling this at 3am while writhing in pain. :/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ditto . Had quinoa for dinner - with stir fry Veg & fish-yum yum. Woke at 5 with pain & feeling of wanting to vomit (charming), gas, swollen stomach. Thought maybe twas the fish. Just reading this now & what a revelation. Still feel rough. Chamomile tea helping.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm glad I just looked this up. Twice I have prepared quinoa without rinsing it and have gotten so deathly ill, I had to leave work. I thought "how can one be allergic to quinoa" or whatever is going on. I USED to rinse the quinoa and didn't have a problem. These last two times, I did not, and have paid dearly for it. Thank you for this helpful site!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow! I like EVERYONE else have this same reaction to quinoa. I tried a gluten free quinoa pasta tonight, and STILL got the stomach ache. I will try the rice cracker, thnx!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I had a packet quinoa mix for dinner the other night, it had pre washed quinoa, powdered tomato, garli and herbs in it, just add water the packet said. I spent the next three days in such pain with pangs, cramps, bloating, belly tightness and gas. I had the left overs the next day! No wonder I felt so lousy! I've learnt, wash, wash, wash, steam, steam, toast....then try it. Though im nervous now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have eaten quinoa the past 4-5 years. At fist I did get stomach pain even when I rinced it pre-cooking. Then I read that south America where the quinoa come from they let the quinoa aoak in water over night. Also I read that rincin is not that effective since they are coated with saponins that are designed to stay put on the quinoa plant in the nature when for ex it rains. Its just locigal right? So the tip was, soak it in boling water
    For some minutes and then put it in a bowl to soak overnight. It worked good for me for years but suddenly I'm now starting to get aches! Maybe one can become senaetive to this "gluten alike proteins" after sone time? Dunno but its a bummer aince I really live quinoa :(

    ReplyDelete

Share This