Quinoa onion patties
|AUTHOR:||Dr. Alisa Palatronis||PUBLISHED:||October 20, 2021|
|SOURCE:||www.z-antenna.com||LENGTH:||7 minutes (1,325 words)|
If you are ready to spend some time in the kitchen – these delicious quinoa patties may become your new favorite healthy snack or side dish for a leafy salad. But before, lets see what we can learn about the ingredients to make these patties really tasty-healthy!!
About the ingredients
Soaking grains, nuts and seeds
The main thing we need to keep in mind forever is to soak your grains, nuts and seeds. Soaking takes some time, but it is a key factor to cook really healthy food. Grains, nuts and seeds (and pseudo-grains like quinoa) contain phytic acid, which is known as anti-nutrient for humans. Phytic acid is a naturally occurring compound that’s found in many plant structures. For plants it functions as a protecting agent, as it wards off insects and deters birds; while for humans it impairs the absorption of iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. In other words it „grabs“ minerals from the body and may promote deficiency of essential minerals. I have explained the health benefits of soaking and tips for soaking in details in my second cookbook “Daily, Sugar-free Recipes for Almost Vegans” by Alisa Palatronis (available on Amazon).
Have you ever sat watching the washing machine when it works on a cotton wash cycle for a few hours? Probably not. The same with soaking! Soaking does not require ANY special efforts from you, it does not take your busy time.
You just think a bit ahead, pour water on your grains in the evening and pour it out next day (8 hours soaking is a golden standard, but there are some exceptions for specific products).
If you wish me to write an article about soaking and discuss practical tips about it – comment below! Writing quality science- and practice-based articles requires plenty of time and efforts. So, if I will know there are people who will really get benefits from it – it will become a stimulus for me to write it.
Saponins – when type and quantity matter
Quinoa (pseudo grain) is even more capricious than cereal grains or nuts. The tricky truth is that in addition to phytic acid, quinoa also contains saponins. Thus, its soapy taste, bitterness and astringency comes from the high concentration of saponins in a grain, especially in bran.
Saponins (Latin sapon means soap) are naturally occurring compounds in beans and pseudo grains, they produce foam when agitated in water (reference 1).
One funny story about quinoa soup I heard from friends of mine about quinoa soup. Here it is: “Once we decided to start eating really healthy and bought all kinds of grains and nuts at once. Enthusiasm has gone after we made a soup from black quinoa. The soup was ok (surprisingly, we did not noticed specific bitterness) and we ate a small portion, leaving the whole soup pot for the next day on a counter. Next day the whole pot was full of foam. Literally, the soup turned to a foam! It became so foamy that there were no liquid, and other soup ingredients were incorporated into the stiff dense foam. It was not eatable and we needed to pour it out. After this recipe, our “healthy diet” has stopped for some time.”
Saponins and health
In the past, saponins were recognized as antinutrients due to their adverse, toxic effects. Saponin compounds and their properties (also toxicity and health benefits) vary from bean to bean, and from plant to plant. As for example, one wild growing flowering plant is poisonous for dogs due to saponins and other natural chemicals in its composition, while soy saponins and alfalfa saponins do not have adverse effects in animals and humans.
Saponins may cause troubles for human health and makes quinoa taste “soapy” and bitter. Removing quinoa soapy taste is a key factor for tasty and healthy quinoa recipes.
Same as phytic acid, saponins are toxic chemicals that protect healthy plants from insect, bacterial, and fungal pathogens. Regularly eating foods that contain high amounts of saponins can cause toxicity in the human body, though severe poisoning is rare.
Online articles to the public stop at the explanation that the bitterness of quinoa depends on saponins. However, we should remember that beans also contain saponins, which, however, according to scientists, may have positive health properties. Saponins may protect the human body against cancers, lower cholesterol levels, decrease blood lipids, inhibit dental caries, and lower blood glucose response (reference 2).
In medicine, some saponins are used as an antidote against acute lead poisoning and as adjuvants for specific antibacterial and antiviral vaccine from the plant Quillaja saponaria (antiviral action against herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency viruses, and others) (reference 3).
Edible legumes (beans), such as soybeans, chickpeas, black gram, moth beans, broad beans, peas and green moth beans contain highest amounts of saponins, and field beans, red beans, black-eyed peans, and snow peas contain much fewer amounts. However, the amounts of saponins in edible legumes are lower than in quinoa (reference 4).
If you are interested in vegan cooking, you probably have heard about “aquafaba” – the liquid leftover from cooked or canned chickpeas. Aquafaba may replace whole eggs and gives fluffy texture in baked goods. Try the recipe of my “Sensational sugar-free, gluten-free vegan brownie” and tell what you think about it!
The authors of the scientific article “Saponins from edible legumes: chemistry, processing, and health benefits” say: “Saponins are thermal sensitive. During soaking and blanching, portions of saponins are dissolved in water and lost in the soaking, washing, and blanching” (reference 5).
How I wash away saponins from quinoa
- I use 1 liter of water to soak 1 cup of quinoa. Just soak grains in a pot and replace water to fresh after first 30 min-2 hours.
- If using white quinoa, you will see that water changed color to yellow. Then leave on a counter to soak for at least 8 h or overnight.
- Next day (after soaking), pour water out and “wash out” saponins by pouring in and out cold tap water for a several times. Let water run at high current to give the grains a chance to release saponins, and remove the foam with a spoon.
- As washing water will become not foamy and not yellowish (but there are no need to reach a crystal clear waterJ), stop the procedure and drain the grains. Your quinoa is ready for your delicious recipes now!
Nourishing and satiating : Quinoa Onion Patties
|EQUIPMENT||two ceramic pans for baking, blender|
|Passive time||8 hours 40 minutes|
|Active time||20 minutes|
|TOTAL TIME||9 hours|
* amount of ingredients listed is for a double portion – two flat breads
|White quinoa||370 g||2 cups|
|Onions||400 g||around 4 large onions|
|Olive oil or Ghee butter||3-4 Tbsp||3-4 Tbsp|
|Nutritional yeast||30 g||½ cup|
|Salt||1 ½ tsp||1 ½ tsp|
|Water||240 ml||1 cup|
|Curry||2 Tbsp||2 Tbsp|
|Turmeric powder||1 ½ tsp||1 ½ tsp|
|Black pepper||½ tsp||½ tsp|
|Species for covering the top and the bottom of patties: |
rosemary, smoked paprika, black seed
|1-2 tsp||1-2 tsp|
- Soak quinoa for at least 8 hours or overnight, see the section “How I wash away saponins from quinoa”
- Sauté chopped onions with oil (Ghee butter) on a medium-high heat till golden color. Stir it time to time and do not let it burn
- Meanwhile, wash soaked quinoa as described above in the section “How I wash out saponins from quinoa”
- Measure all dry ingredients in one bowl: nutritional yeast, salt, curry, turmeric, and black pepper
- Once the quinoa is soaked and washed, blend it smoothly along with water and dry ingredients
- Preheat the oven at 160 C / 320 F (fan mode)
- Add the blended quinoa and sautéed onion, mix well
- Empty the mixture in two ceramic pans (15×23 cm / 6×9 inches each), covered with parchment paper
- Top it with rosemary, smoked paprika, and black seeds
- Bake for 40 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
Serve either warm or cold!
This article is also available on:
Books written by a pharmacist, Dr. in Chemistry Alisa Palatronis:
- Festive, Sugar-Free Recipes for Almost Vegans (December 15, 2020)
- Daily, Sugar-Free Recipes for Almost Vegans (May 25, 2021)
- Rubbish Paradise (August 5, 2021)
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About this book
Parties and celebrations. Is it time to break the rules and eat all the things you have avoided for so long? Why do the great celebrations of the year could not be met with healthier food? In this book you will find the whole list of festive sugar-free, (wheat) flour-free vegan and vegetarian dishes. Feel free to offer them for the whole family, friends, or colleagues with any taste preferences. There are recipes that will bring joy to the soul of the chef, but those who do not see themselves as a cook at any costs may also like to prepare a few dishes from this book. No need to make all the dishes at once. Choose two or three of them and enjoy festive and healthy additions to your celebrations.
People about this book
Mary Novalis (United States): Tasty recipes without sugar!
Dr. Alisa Palatronis has “cooked up” a very interesting cookbook! I am intrigued by the ingredient choices for some recipes and can’t wait to try them all! My palate is anticipating them all. I did try a few right away since I had the ingredients on hand. The Mascadates from Bożena and Almonds in Heaven were very tasty! I also tried the Hello Hasselback Potato too, they were delicious!! My next recipe will be Delights from 1001 Nights for a sweet treat since I love chickpeas.
This cookbook is one of a kind and I look forward to trying all the recipes and passing it along to my vegan friends and non vegan friends alike. Thank you Dr. Palatronis for this special treat, you have a way with enticing ones palate with your pictures and ingredients combinations.
I Gray (United States): Tasty recipes
This book has brought great joy. We have enjoyed the flavours and treats together with family and friends, bringing great memories. Some recipes are so good they have become a common repeat in our home. Mascadates from Bozena is one of them. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.
Carmen Huster (Germany): Die Beschreibungen der Rezepte sind detailliert und mit vielen Zusatzinformationen.
Wir konnten schon einige der Rezepte probieren und die Idee zuckerfrei zu koch interessiert uns sehr. Die Beschreibungen der Rezepte sind detailliert, toll fotografiert und mit vielen Zusatzinformationen versehen. Sie finden tolle Rezeptideen ohne Zuckerzusatz und ohne Mehl, die sich schnell zubereiten lassen. Wir empfehlen dieses Kochbuch und haben es auch schon verschenkt.
English: We have already tried some of the recipes and we are very interested in the idea of cooking sugar-free. The descriptions of the recipes are detailed, beautifully photographed and provided with a lot of additional information. You will find great recipe ideas with no added sugar or flour that can be prepared quickly. We recommend this cookbook and have already given it away.
About this book
Daily routine. Is it a time to spend hours in the sweetened kitchen? According to Dr. Alisa Palatronis, a sugar-free lifestyle has the potential to let people feel well physically, emotionally and mentally. In this book you will find a full set of vegan and vegetarian dishes without refined sugar, molasses, honey, artificial sweeteners and (wheat) flour. Feel free to offer them to the whole family, friends or colleagues with any taste preferences. There are recipes that will cheer the chef’s soul. Those who do not consider themselves a chef at any cost will also find a number of delicious recipes. Daily, sugar-free dishes welcome us all!
People about this book
Erdem Civan (United States): Great book for you, your loved ones and the world
The recipes are easy to make and incredibly delicious. As the headline says almost vegan/vegetarian foods and they are sugar-free. A sound choice if you want to avoid consuming animal products and/or sugar.
I Gray (United States): Everyday food
I do recommend this book. It gives great ideas for to what to cook. You will enjoy some new flavours and feel good, knowing that what you eat is good for your body too. Guilt free and tasty.
Carmen Huster (Germany): Die Rezepte sind detailliert, toll fotografiert und mit vielen Zusatzinformationen versehen.
Wir konnten schon einige der Rezepte probieren und die Idee zuckerfrei zu koch interessiert uns sehr. Die Beschreibungen der Rezepte sind detailliert, toll fotografiert und mit vielen Zusatzinformationen versehen. Sie finden tolle Rezeptideen ohne Zuckerzusatz und ohne Mehl, die sich schnell zubereiten lassen. Wir empfehlen dieses Kochbuch.
English: We have already tried some of the recipes and we are very interested in the idea of cooking sugar-free. The descriptions of the recipes are detailed, beautifully photographed and provided with a lot of additional information. You will find great recipe ideas with no added sugar or flour that can be prepared quickly. We recommend this cookbook.
G Mott (Canada): Beautiful Book
I really liked the recipes. The illustrations are gorgeous.