I love quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). It’s a nice alternative to rice, in my opinion. It’s become pretty popular and is known as a “superfood” or “supergrain” to many health conscious people. It’s one of my favorite grains and a popular choice from our Healthy Clean Eating Grocery List.
Quinoa originates in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. It comes in a multitude of colors and about 1800 varieties!!! The most popular in the US is white or red. The red contains more nutrients but the white is known to be more flavorful.
It’s easy to prepare and is used in a variety of dishes: breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert! Great in soups as a thickener or sprinkled on salads. See recipe ideas below.
A few facts about quinoa:
- 8 grams protein per 1 cup cooked quinoa. Quinoa is known as one of the only plant foods that provides complete proteins, offering a balanced collection of essential amino acids.
- High in iron, copper, thiamin and vitamin B6.
- High in fiber, so it helps with digestion. It’s also easier to digest than other grains.
- If you’re following a Gluten-Free diet, then be happy because quinoa is gluten-free!
- It’s been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. It may help decrease the risk of the irritating inflammation that comes with autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and Chrohn’s disease.
- Lowers LDL Cholesterol, the bad cholesterol.
- It cooks faster than most grains – takes about 12-20 minutes to cook up some quinoa. Great for busy families and people always on the go.
How to cook quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa (any variety or color will do)
2 cups water or broth
- Always rinse quinoa. It contains an outer layer called saponin that can leave a bitter taste once cooked. Some boxed quinoa might be pre-rinsed, so always read labels, or just rinse it again anyway. Take a fine mesh strainer, pour quinoa in and rinse under cool water for a minute or two using your hands to move the quinoa around and help remove the saponin.
- Add quinoa to a saucepan along with the water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat to lowest setting and cover saucepan with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let it sit for 5 extra minutes.
- Once done you will see a little spiral on each quinoa grain. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork.
- Use quinoa in any of the recipes mentioned below.
- NOTE: if you notice there is still water at the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a little crunchy, then turn the heat back on low and let it cook covered until water is absorbed.
12 ways to eat quinoa:
- Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Roasted Veggies (serve them with quinoa)
- Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa Salad
- Butternut Squash Kale and Quinoa Stew
- Quinoa Fried “Rice”
- Cranberry Quinoa Peanut Butter Power Bars
- Slow Cooker Quinoa Brownies
- Bountiful Broccoli Quinoa Bowl
- Southwest Quinoa Burgers
- Vegan Almond Quinoa Muffins
- Quinoa Mango Healthy Taco Salad
- Breakfast Quinoa
What are some of your favorite quinoa recipes? Share links in the comments below!