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Can You Eat Quinoa Raw?

Quinoa is a grain that has grown in popularity in recent years. 

It is a great, healthy alternative to rice and is packed full of nutrients that help to support a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. 

The most common way of preparing quinoa is to cook it in some way. 

However, you might be wondering if it is possible to eat this ancient grain when it is raw. 

Can You Eat Quinoa Raw?

In this article, we will look at whether quinoa can be consumed raw or not. 

Can You Eat Raw Quinoa?

Although it might be unexpected, the answer to this question is yes. 

However, there are a few steps that need to be taken in order to make quinoa safe to consume when it hasn’t been cooked.  

It should also be noted that eating raw quinoa isn’t going to be the same as eating cooked quinoa and the texture and flavor might not be to everyone’s taste. 

How To Prepare Raw Quinoa

If you are interested in trying raw quinoa there are some specific steps you should take to properly prepare the grains. 

Instead of simply opening your packet of quinoa, rinsing it, and eating it, the grains should be sprouted before consumption. 

This takes a little more preparation than simply cooking them. 


The first step in preparing quinoa for sprouting in order to consume it raw is to obtain quinoa grains from a reputable retailer that offers untreated grains that have been specially selected for sprouting. 

The seeds also need to be unhulled in order for the sprouting process to be successful.  

The quinoa grains that you purchase from a grocery store are unlikely to be suitable for sprouting and raw consumption.  


Once you have obtained the correct quinoa grains, it is time to begin the sprouting process.

The first step is to rinse the grains thoroughly with cold, fresh water. 

You should then soak the grains for at least eight hours. 

The soaking process removes the natural saponin from the surface of the grains and alleviates the bitter taste of the grain. 

Once you have soaked the grains, they need to be drained, rinsed again, and placed into a jar. 

The jar should be kept in a warm place away from direct sunlight. 

The grains should then be drained and re-rinsed three times a day for the first three days. 

After this, you should begin to see some edible sprouts beginning to appear. 


Once you have sprouted your quinoa, the shoots can be used in sandwiches, salads, and even stir-fries. 

The shoots should be kept in the refrigerator and if you notice any mold on them, they should be disposed of immediately. 

Can You Eat Quinoa Raw?

Health Benefits Of Quinoa

As with many ancient grains, there are plenty of health benefits that come with eating quinoa, raw or cooked. 

Below we will look at some of the main health benefits you can get from regularly consuming this grain.

High In Protein And Fiber

Quinoa is naturally rich in protein and fiber. 

Both of these nutrients are important for keeping your body healthy and working properly.  

The high protein content of this grain helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. 

This can help to avoid overeating at meal times and snacking on unhealthy foods between meals. 

Overall, this can contribute to healthy weight management and even contribute to controlled weight loss. 

The high fiber content keeps your body working smoothly. 

The more fiber you consume, the better your digestive system will work. 

Not only does this help to avoid uncomfortable conditions such as constipation, but it can also help your body make the most of its food. 

The more regular your bowel movements are, the better your body can absorb the nutrients from your food, and the more friendly gut bacteria you will have. 

High In Iron

Quinoa is also naturally high in iron. 

This is a really important nutrient to have in your diet, especially if you are prone to low iron levels or anemia.  

The iron in your body helps blood to transport oxygen around your body. 

If your iron levels are too low, your body will struggle to get enough oxygen to the parts of your body that needs it. 

If you regularly consume quinoa as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, your body will receive more iron which can then help to improve the amount of oxygen in your blood. 

Naturally Gluten-Free

One of the best things about quinoa grains is that they are naturally gluten-free. 

This means that they are the perfect grain for people with celiac disease or even gluten intolerance.  

Because this ancient grain is naturally gluten-free, it is unlikely to cause uncomfortable bloating in people who struggle to digest gluten effectively. 

This makes it a great alternative to barley, wheat, rye, and other grains that naturally contain gluten. 

Rich In Magnesium And Antioxidants

Magnesium is a crucial nutrient to have in your diet. 

This mineral helps to regulate your body’s nervous system which can help to combat a multitude of health concerns and problems. 

It can also help to neutralize stomach acid which can reduce heartburn and acid reflux. 

The high levels of antioxidants in quinoa also help to maintain overall good health by combating free radicals in your body and removing them safely. 

How To Cook Quinoa

The most common way to cook quinoa is to boil it. 

As with any grain, the first step is to thoroughly rinse the raw grains to remove anything on the outside that can affect the flavor or quality.  

Then, simply add the grains to a pan with enough water to cover them. 

Gently simmer the grains until all the water has been absorbed. 

Let the grains stand then fluff them with a fork for best results. 

Final Thoughts

Quinoa is an ancient grain that is naturally bursting with nutrients and offers plenty of health benefits. 

While it is possible to eat these grains raw by sprouting them, it is much easier and more common to simply cook them as you would with other grains.

Can You Eat Quinoa Raw?

How to cook quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to cook quinoa
Servings: 3
Calories: 245kcal


  • Saucepan


  • 200 g quinoa


  • Wash the quinoa in a colander under cold running water.
  • Pour 400mL cold water and a pinch of salt into a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the quinoa is fully cooked and all of the water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve.



Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 5g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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