“I get a stomach ache from quinoa. Will rinsing and soaking help?” asks Susan on today’s #AskWardee. I’m sharing my thoughts below!
I broadcast #AskWardee live each Wednesday at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern) on Periscope and Facebook Live. Both the podcast and video replay of this week’s show are below. Enjoy!
Subscribe to #AskWardee on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, or the Podcasts app.
The Question: “I get a stomach ache from quinoa. Will soaking and rinsing help?”
“I have eaten quinoa twice and developed SEVERE abdominal pain afterward. I didn’t make the connection until today, when it happened again. Before I always had something else to blame it on. I ran an Internet search, and apparently it’s a common problem. I’ve been working in your traditional practices for a few years now, and my family actually prefers to eat at home, because we “feel” better. Now the question: will rinsing the quinoa be enough to get rid of the saponins, or should I soak it overnight with vinegar water before preparing? Can you think of anything else? I love the taste and health benefits, but the knotting abdominal pain is so intense, I’m afraid to keep trying it.
Thank you for all you have shared, and all that you do. Your information has truly transformed our lives, and I continue to forward your site to others. You have been a blessing!!”
Why do you get a stomach ache from quinoa?
The bitter fibrous coating around quinoa grains is called saponin. (Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, FYI.)
These saponins repel insects, like a natural pesticide. While it’s good for growing quinoa, it’s not so good for us to eat. You can get a stomach ache from eating quinoa because it irritates your digestive system, plus it just tastes bitter.
Quinoa should always be rinsed.
To rinse, put your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under hard, cold, running water for at least 2 minutes. Rotate the strainer around so all the seeds are rinsed well.
Some brands are pre-washed but in my experience, buying bulk quinoa, it is not pre-rinsed so I do it myself.
Quinoa should always be soaked!
It’s a good idea to soak quinoa (as you should any grains, bean, nut, or seed). Soaking ensures that you get the maximum nutrition and you don’t get a stomach ache from quinoa.
Quinoa contains phytic acid, like other grains, nuts, and seeds. If not neutralized, this phytic acid prevents mineral absorption.
To soak: first, rinse like I described above, then combine quinoa with warm water in a bowl or pot with 1 tablespoon of acid (such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or whey) per cup of water. Soak in a warm location for 7 to 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Then cook as you normally would, adding salt or fat. If you prefer to drain away the acid (some don’t like the hint of sour… but I do ), catch the drained water so you can measure it and replace with fresh water or broth.
I teach how to soak and cook grains (as well as nuts/seeds and beans) in my free Traditional Cooking video series. Sign up for that here.
- Free Traditional Cooking Videos — see how to soak grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, plus get handy charts
What Is The #AskWardee Show?
The #AskWardee Show is the live weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it’s your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking or your GNOWFGLINS lifestyle.
I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
When: Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
Where: @TradCookSchool on Periscope or Traditional Cooking School on Facebook
What If You Can’t Make It?
Don’t worry. You can catch the replays or listen to the podcast!
- Come back here to AskWardee.TV; all replays will be up within hours of airing live; the print notes are always posted at the same time I go live.
- Follow @TradCookSchool on Periscope or Traditional Cooking School on Facebook to view the replay.
- Subscribe to the #AskWardee podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, or the Podcasts app. While you’re there, be sure to leave a rating and review!
Want To Get YOUR Question Answered?
Here’s how to submit your question. If we answer it on #AskWardee, you’ll get a gift!
Or, you can…
- Tweet your question to @TradCookSchool on Twitter; use hashtag #AskWardee
- Send an email to wardee at AskWardee dot tv — add #AskWardee to your email so I know it’s for the show
Please do NOT add future questions for #AskWardee to the comments of this post because they might get missed!
Have you ever gotten a stomach ache from quinoa? Do you soak and rinse quinoa?
save time, spend less, and get healthy... simple & delicious traditionally-cooked meals using ingredients you already have... even leftovers... 30 min or less!
free worksheet + videos:
Healthy Dinner in 30 Minutes... While Spending $0 Extra!
We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).
Susan Belville says
Thank you sooooo much! You were the first person I thought to ask????. You are my foodie Hero!
Hi Susan, have you tried to make it since and how did you react?
food eater says
That sounds like a lot of wasted water, rinsing under running water. I’d soak first, swirl it around the bowl/pot a bit and drain. Add water to cover, swirl, drain, repeat a couple times until the water’s more or less clear. You can also tell if it’s rinsed enough, which you can’t if the water’s going through straight down the drain.
Kayla Dixon says
Thank you. I hope this works because I love quinoa but the stomach attacks it gives me renders me useless for the rest of the day! If anyone else is like me dont give up quite yet.
I soak my quinoa 🙂
I have a question regarding quinoa flakes…
I recently made a granola with quinoa flakes and it gave me a tummy ache…
I since thought I would experiment and soak the flakes…..they ended up in a mush pile lol
So my question is…how do I get around using the flakes without being able to soak?