Quinoa (keen-wah) is a gluten-free grain — technically a seed — therefore referred to as a pseudo-grain.
Quinoa is a small round seed found in several varieties and colors, such as red, black, and yellowish-white. Black quinoa has a firmer texture after cooking with a sweet earthy flavor. Red quinoa has a tougher texture than white quinoa and less that of black quinoa. Finally white quinoa is the softest of the three varieties with the mildest flavor.
White quinoa is referred to simply as quinoa since it’s the most popular variety found in stores. Quinoa also can be found as a flour or in flake form!
Health Benefits of Quinoa:
Quinoa is a great plant-based source of protein, fiber, B vitamins and antioxidants. It’s packed with whole grains which have been shown to reduce risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It’s also one of the few plant-based protein sources that contains all 9 essential amino acids!
Nutrient Breakdown of Quinoa:
*Per 1 cup cooked
- Protein | 8g
- Fiber | 5g
- B vitamins | thiamin, riboflavin, B6 and folate
- Iron | 15% DV
- Magnesium | 30% DV
- Phosphorus | 28% DV
- Zinc | 13% DV
- Copper | 18% DV
- Manganese | 58%
- Omega-3 fatty acids | ALA (linolenic acid)
- Antioxidants | quercetin and kaempferol
How To Use:
All quinoa varieties can be used as a side dish, a base for roasted or stir-fry veggies and as a warm salad base. Quinoa flour can also be used for the gluten-free baking of breads, cookies and more. White quinoa is particularly great for softer textures such as that of a breakfast porridge.
Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
When cooking 1 cup of dry quinoa, use 2 cups of water. Simply boil for at least 20 minutes and fork to fluff. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.