Island Grains

How do I remove the saponin coating from my quinoa seeds?

Quinoa seeds are naturally coated with saponin, which one grainy has said tastes like dandelion milk (ew). There are machines out there to get the coating off, but here in Canada quinoa growers usually use the washing machine method:

  1. run your washing machine through a cycle with vinegar instead of laundry detergent, to clean out any soap residue.
  2. place the quinoa seed in a pillow case and tie it shut.
  3. using just the water, run your washing machine through 2-3 cycles with the pillowcase of quinoa inside.
  4. taste the quinoa seed to check that it's saponin-free.
  5. when the saponin's been washed off, empty the seed onto trays and dry before storing.
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  1. Can you wash clothes with it too? 🙂 I read somewhere else that saponins are sometimes used as detergents.

  2. This is a very interesting method for removing saponin from quinoa. Although most commercial quinoa already has its saponin removed, you should still rinse quinoa throughly before cooking. I do agree that saponin is not good as in increases intestinal permeability and increase risk of autoimmune diseases.

  3. mine sprouted after rinsing ?!? Now I only wash it as I need it .

    • Cold water only and a short wash cycle, then letting the grains dry thoroughly in an airy place seem to be the secret. Good luck, Dave!

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