Think it takes 30 minutes to make quinoa? Think again. Q-cups can go from cup to plate in six minutes or less without sacrificing too much flavor or texture.
I was cautiously optimistic that I would love Q-Cups by NOW Foods. I saw an advertisement for the product in a recent edition of Gluten-Free Living magazine, and I ordered them immediately. Finding pre-made quinoa that tastes good has been a mission of mine for a while, and Q-Cups are basically that.
You can either add a half cup of boiling water, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes, or add a half cup of water, microwave for 60 seconds, and then cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
On my first attempt, I used the microwave method. I followed the directions perfectly, and when I opened the cup’s lid five minutes later, the water was completely absorbed and I had a cup of cooked quinoa.
The Q-cups come in three flavors: plain, savory garlic and mushroom, and southwestern barbecue. All are organic, non-GMO, certified gluten-free, and packaged in a gluten-free facility in the USA. They also do not contain any weird ingredients. The plain flavor is just quinoa and sea salt, and the other two contain all real food ingredients.
In terms of flavor and texture, the plain quinoa was not actually all that bad. It was more mushy than stovetop quinoa would be, but that suited my purposes just fine because I was adding it to soup anyways. I definitely would not serve it for a fancy meal by any means; however, it lives up to its promise to deliver cooked quinoa quickly.
I would say it makes a great snack, instant side, or even quick breakfast. I can imagine the plain flavor would be great with some vanilla almond milk and fresh berries. The brand’s website also says Q-cups are ideal for travel, and I agree that they would be. The nutrition is great, too. There 210-220 calories, and six to seven grams of protein and fiber in each 2 oz. cup.
Overall, I was happily pleased with my decision to purchase the Q-cups, and will likely order more in the future as they are another great addition to my “I need a meal fast” arsenal. I look forward to trying the southwestern flavor and any new ones they come up with.