How to cook Quinoa and Buckwheat

As a naturopath I often recommend to my patients to replace white rice with Quinoa and buckwheat. These wholefoods are not as commonly used as rice, and so I can’t ask you to use them without equipping you with knowledge of how to cook them! So here is your cooking 101!


  • 1 cup of dried quinoa
  • 2 cups of water

Method: Thoroughly rinse the quinoa before you cook it, as it has a bitter resin that will taint the taste if you don’t wash it off. Place the quinoa and water into a pot, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer until all the water has evaporated. You know that the quinoa is cooked because it becomes translucent.

It’s as easy as that! Now that you have cooked your quinoa, you might wonder what to do with it. You can use it in exactly the same way that you would use rice, ie: with stir fries, in ‘fried rice’ dishes, in desserts such as rice porridge, and indeed you can use quinoa for a yummy and wholesome breakfast porridge. It is a neutral taste that you can make either sweet or savoury.


  • 1 cup buckwheat
  • 2 cups of water

Method: Follow the same evaporation method as above for Quinoa. You will know the buckwheat is cooked when it is soft and easy to chew, just like rice when it’s ready. Buckwheat has a more savoury flavour, and is fabulous used in stews and soups.