Taste

The Real Reason Your Quinoa Tastes Like Dirt

It's not because it's dirty.

Quinoa has risen to the top when it comes to alternative choices to rice. Touted as a superfood (a term that doesn’t have a regulated definition), many folks wax poetic about quinoa’s positive attributes ― it is, after all, the best source of complete protein for vegetarians.

We’re on board, except for one major flaw: sometimes quinoa tastes like dirt. We rinse it, drain it, rinse it again. Bring a pot of water to a boil, simmer the quinoa for over 15 minutes, take a bite and ... dirt.

If this experience sounds familiar you might be asking yourself, “Why is my quinoa so dirty?”

We have good news ― it’s not. That off flavor you may taste is not dirt, it’s not soap, it’s just saponin.

Saponin is a naturally occurring chemical that’s found in many plant structures. It coats every tiny grain of quinoa and serves an important purpose ― to ward off insects and deter birds ― but it tastes bitter, even soapy. That’s the flavor that most folks mistake for dirt. Pre-rinsed quinoa helps get rid of that taste, but not always completely. While you might not like the flavor lingering on your quinoa, at least you know it’s not dirt.

To minimize the dirt taste, rinse quinoa under running water in a fine mesh sieve for at least a minute, moving the quinoa around with your fingers until the water runs clean.

Once you’ve done this you should be in the clear. You’ll be ready to add it to your breakfast routine with the recipes below ― it’s a nice change from eggs, and still will help you start the day with lots of protein.

1
Baked Breakfast Quinoa With Plums And Pistachios
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2
Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes
Ambitious Kitchen
Get the Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes recipe from Ambitious Kitchen
3
Overnight Autumn Breakfast Quinoa
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4
Quinoa Breakfast Bars
Well Plated
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5
Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Not Enough Cinnamon
Get the Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl recipe from Not Enough Cinnamon
6
Dark Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Minimalist Baker
Get the Dark Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl recipe from Minimalist Baker
7
Greek Quinoa Dinner Omelets With Feta And Tzatziki
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8
7-Ingredient Quinoa Granola
Minimalist Baker
Get the 7-Ingredient Quinoa Granola recipe from Minimalist Baker
9
Berry Quinoa Power Bowls
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10
Quinoa Porridge With Plums In Syrup
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11
Crunchy Quinoa And Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola
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12
Crunchy Quinoa Baked Oatmeal With Caramelized Strawberries And Coconut
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13
Quinoa Breakfast Skillet
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Get the Quinoa Breakfast Skillet recipe from How Sweet It Is
14
Sweet Potato, Quinoa And Dark Chocolate Coconut Crumble Crunch Muffins
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15
Coconut Banana Oats Bowl With Crunchy Black Sesame Quinoa Cereal And Mango
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16
Quinoa Cooked With Strawberries In Orange Juice
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Get the Quinoa Cooked With Strawberries In Orange Juice recipe from What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today
17
Mocha Latte Breakfast Quinoa
Fit Foodie Finds
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18
Chocolate Chip Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
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19
Clean Eating Breakfast Muffins
Not Enough Cinnamon
Get the Clean Eating Breakfast Muffins recipe from Not Enough Cinnamon
20
Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
Damn Delicious
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21
Quinoa Porridge With Roasted Rhubarb And Strawberries
Not Enough Cinnamon
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22
Quinoa Fruit Salad
Damn Delicious
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23
Coconut Breakfast Quinoa
A Beautiful Mess
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24
Yuzu Poppy Seed Quinoa Pancakes
Tartine and Apron Strings
Get the Yuzu Poppy Seed Quinoa Pancakes recipe from Tartine and Apron Strings
25
Quinoa Hash Browns
A Beautiful Mess
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