how to cook millet, quinoa and buckwheat

Quinoa (raw seeds) and buckwheat (cooked)


When I decided to try a gluten-free diet, my first goal was to understand how difficult it was in the everyday life of gluten-intolerant and allergic people.
And when I saw the benefits that it brought to me I simply kept this habit (but this is another story :)).

Among the simple and easy-to-find foods to prepare I added to my pantry some millet (a cereal), buckwheat and quinoa (two pseudo-cereals).

So in this article, I’ll explain to you how to prepare these ingredients quickly and easily, and in the second part I’ll give you my opti-effective preparation secrets for eating healthy with minimal effort.

Pseudo-cereal: these are foods that are generally consumed as seeds or in powder as flour, but which are not grains (or grasses). So they are called pseudo-cereals not too upset users thinking they are cereals but actually not, as well as to give a special name for this group of seeds 🙂

Opti-effective: art to do the best for yourself by making the least yourself.

How to cook buckwheat, quinoa and millet?

If you buy a box of it for the first time, please do not cook this ingredient from 15 to 20 minutes in boiling water, okay? 🙂

What you want is to benefit from nutrients of these foods, as well as the unique flavors of these seeds and their nice crunchy side.

For this, you only need:

  • A measuring cup or a simple transparent glass,
  • A timer (your smartphone does it very well),
  • Water to rinse your seeds and cook,
  • A small saucepan with a lid,
  • A colander,
  • The small table below.

1. Water Volume
For 1 volume of seeds (eg 1/2 glass), put the corresponding volume of water (check the numbers in the table). Using a measuring cup makes it even easier.

Example for quinoa: if you measure 1/2 glass of seeds, prepare 3/4 to 1 glass of water.

2. Once you have determined your volume of seeds, rinse the seeds in a colander.
Meanwhile, boil the amount of water needed for cooking.

Grain/SeedVolume of waterCookingRest
Milletx 1,78 minutes20 minutes
Quinoax 1,710 minutes20 minutes
Buckwheatx 1,55 minutes20 minutes

3. Cooking
Put your volume of water to boil and then pour the seeds in the water.
Set your timer to ring depending on the type of seed (see “Cooking” column).
Let the lid half-raised with a small opening.
Go and do something else until it rings 🙂

4. Rest
Put the pan off the heat and let it rest with the lid on.
Put your clock to ring in 20 minutes.
Go watch an interesting Ted-TEDx video, or take a nap.

When it rings, it’s ready 🙂
During the rest time the seeds will have absorbed the rest of the cooking water, and since you will not let them boil too long, they will also keep their sweet crispy flavor.

Of course, if you’re a fan of the overcooked squishy pack of grains, without much taste and full of water, just let them boil a good half hour in a very large volume of water and drain.
It also works and is perfect for keeping you away from healthy food 🙂

The opti-efficient cooking

measuring a volume of quinoa millet and buckwheat

Rough mix of the 3 types of seeds

Since I like the taste of buckwheat, quinoa and millet, and I also like to spend a minimum of time to prepare everything, let me explain how I do to cook myself a good portion with a minimum of work-time.

I measure about 200 mL seeds. If I want to show off I measure buckwheat apart to add it during cooking, but then once I’m off record at home I’ll mix them all 🙂
I keep them apart in a small bowl and I measure 350 mL of water.

I boil water in my kettle while I’m rinsing the grains.
I pour water in the pan, put it on heat, I add the seeds and I set the timer for 5 minutes.
I do something else until it sounds, then I stop the heat and stir the mix a little.
I put the lid on the pan.
It’s finish 🙂
I do not set again the stopwatch, I look at the time, I leave to do something else and forget my pan completely.

After a moment I’m hungry, so I remember I had prepared my seeds.
I check that more than 20-30 minutes have past and take out a bowl to eat it all 🙂

Mix of buckwheat millet and quinoa

Three-colored mix of quinoa, buckwheat and millet

Since I’m in a opti-efficient mood, I still want to eat a maximum of nutrients effortlessly:
– I pour the content of the pan into a large bowl,
– I add some tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
– I mill some black pepper,
– I put a full tablespoon of hemp seed powder(*)
– I pour a generous gulp of my best olive oil,
– Half a lemon squeezed on top of the bowl.

In the end, I have in my bowl a perfect assortment of minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids.
All in 10-15 minutes of work-time, including rinsing seeds and tools and without counting the nap in the middle.

If you have read me this far you no longer have an excuse to not try quinoa, buckwheat and millet in your meals! 🙂
Simply experiment with them as they are new flavors that are worth visiting.

Enjoy your meal !
(*) The hemp powder remembers me of Parmesan cheese, if you don’t have powder and you like Parmesan, try and see by yourself 🙂

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