How to Activate Quinoa


Reading through literature online about whether it’s necessary to activate quinoa is a little confusing – some reports suggest it is and others say it’s not necessary.

Activating legumes, nuts, seeds and grains is the process of soaking them in water – usually with a little acid medium such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. The benefit is that this reduces phytic acid which is present in varying levels in all legumes, nuts, seeds and grains and which is harmful for digestion as it inhibits the absorption of minerals and other nutrients. For detailed information on the topic refer to the Weston Price foundation.

Personally, I find that activating quinoa improves digestibility and is a very simple process so for me it’s well worth the effort.


  • At least 1 cup of quinoa – however I usually cook big batches at a time and freeze what I’m not eating straight away
  • Filtered water
  • Lemon juice/apple cider vinegar (just a little if you’re only soaking a cup of quinoa but at least a tablespoon if you’re soaking a big batch)


Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, then cover in plenty of filtered water (at least two and a half times the volume of quinoa) plus either the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and soak overnight (12 hours works fine but you can leave for up to 24 hours). Drain and rinse again.

In a saucepan, add 2 parts filtered water to 1 part of the soaked quinoa. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for around 12 minutes. Test to make sure it’s cooked and if not allow to cook for another 3 minutes. Drain and serve.

The cooked quinoa keeps well in the freezer for several months. I freeze in small batches to add to salads or to eat as a side.

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