How to cook quinoa? All you need to know about quinoa.

All you need to know about QUINOA.

What is QUINOA?

Quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods often referred to as a ‘super-food’. 

It’s a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. Grown in South America (Peru, Chile, and Bolivia) cultivated since more than 5,000 years ago, quinoa has been a staple of the Andean diet. It is one of the few crops that thrive in the harsh conditions of the Andean mountains, growing at extremely high altitudes and enduring the volatile weather, from frost to intense sunshine and occasional drought conditions. The Incans considered the crop to be sacred and called quinoa the “mother of all grains”.

Nowadays several countries in Europe, including France, England, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Spain, have successfully grown quinoa on a commercial scale.

Contrary to popular believe, quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain. It’s botanically related to spinach and amaranthus.

all you need to know about quinoa

Health benefits of quinoa?

The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium, and manganese. It also contributes useful levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E, and dietary fiber.

After cooking, which is the typical preparation for eating the seeds, quinoa is 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 2% fat. 


In a 100 g (3.5 oz) serving, cooked quinoa provides 120 calories.


Quinoa is among the least allergenic of all the ‘grains’, making it a fantastic wheat-free choice. Like buckwheat, quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein source.

Cooked quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most of the grains and can help to combat high blood pressure and heart disease.

It is also high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for human health in the prevention and treatment of disease. Quinoa contains small amounts of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in comparison to common cereal grasses has a higher content of monounsaturated fat. Quinoa is a slowly digested carbohydrate, making it a good low-GI option.

Quinoa is a great source of iron and can help keep red blood cells healthy, as well as is high in Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), a vitamin that improves muscle and brain cell metabolism.

Is quinoa good for me?

uinoa is good for vegetarians, vegans, diabetics, gluten intolerant people/people diagnosed with celiac disease and health freaks.


Children can generally start enjoying quinoa from the age of 8 months.


The types of quinoa?

White quinoa, red quinoa, black quinoa, types of quinoa

There are roughly 120 known varieties of quinoa, according to the Whole Grains Council. The most commercialized types are white, red and black quinoa.

  • White quinoa is the most widely-available in stores. It softens for a fluffier texture, making it ideal as a substitute for rice or as the base for a quinoa bowl.  White quinoa also tends to be the cheapest and most readily available, making it a good “beginner quinoa” for someone just trying out the grain. You can try it in a sushi as a rice alternative or even make it into a sweet pudding.
  • Red quinoa holds its shape better after cooking, making it ideal for cold salads (check out the recipe for a healthy bowl from red quinoa) or adding a chewy “pop” to a dish.
  • Black quinoa has a slightly earthier taste than other varieties – great as a vegan burger.

Quinoa flakes
  • You can also buy quinoa in a shape of quinoa flake. Quinoa flakes are essentially just pressed quinoa. Each little quinoa seed is rolled flat to make a flake. That means quinoa flakes have all the same great properties of quinoa: gluten-free, high in plant-based protein, and full of good fiber. Since quinoa flakes are flat, they mimic the texture of rolled oats. They also are incredibly quick-cooking because they’re so small and thin. For both of these reasons, they can be cooked up into a great breakfast porridge. Their size also makes them less distinguishable in baked goods than rolled oats, so they can be added to something like brownies for a protein boost without affecting texture. And of course, they can be used as a binder in treats like no-bake cookies. They can even be used in place of panko or breadcrumbs when making chicken nuggets.

How to cook quinoa?

Make sure your quinoa always turns out perfectly yummy. This is a foolproof way of cooking it correctly.  

Ingredients:

1 part of quinoa

2 parts of water

Directions:

Place the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running water for 30 seconds. Combine the quinoa and water in a pot (or a saucepan) and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and cook the quinoa uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. When quinoa is done, remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season to taste.


Recipe

Black quinoa burger (black beans, carrots) VEGAN

There are many ways to prepare a vegan burger. Recently I’ve discovered that black quinoa is perfect for it too. It remains crunchy giving the burger a nice texture and combines well with the beans and carrots. 

Black quinoa burger

Ingredients:

1 cup of black quinoa 

1 can black beans

1 teaspoon chilli powder

salt

2 medium carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion

Lettuce leaves

1 avocado

4 burger buns

Directions:

Place the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running water for 30 seconds. Combine the quinoa and water in a pot (or a saucepan) and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and cook the quinoa uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. When quinoa is done, remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. Let to cool completely. 

Drain and rinse the black beans. Peel and shred the carrots. Slice the burger buns in half and dry roast on a pan. Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Cut through the avocado, discard the pit and slice into thick slices. 

Transfer the cooked quinoa  black beans, chilli powder, salt, and carrots in a food processor and blend for 3-4 minutes or until everything is combined and holds together.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.

Form 4 patties out of the quinoa mixture and place in the pan.

Bake for 5 minutes on each side.

Serve the quinoa burgers on top of the toasted buns and lettuce leaves. Place the red onion and avocado slices on top.



FAQ:

1.What’s the difference between the three colours of quinoa?

  • the white one is the smoothest
  • the red one is a little crispy with hazelnut flavor.
  • the black one has a crunchy texture.

2. Is quinoa gluten-free?

Yes, quinoa is naturally gluten free!

3. Quinoa seeds can sometimes have a bitter taste. How can I solve this problem?

The bitter taste comes from residues of saponin on the surface of the quinoa grains. If you notice a bitter taste, rinse the quinoa in plenty of water before cooking.

4. How long does it take to cook quinoa?

1 cup quinoa will cooks in about 15 minutes.

5. How much liquid do I need to cook quinoa?

To cook 1 cup quinoa, you need about 2 cups liquid.

6. What are the benefits of quinoa?

  • Quinoa is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids.
  • Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains and can help to combat high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Quinoa is a great source of iron and can help keep red blood cells healthy.
  • Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), a vitamin that improves muscle and brain cell metabolism.

7. I overcooked my quinoa. What can I do with it?

Don’t worry, these things happen, luckily overcooked (or extra-fluffy quinoa) can still be used in many delicious recipes. It works well with blender recipes, such as smoothies or cake batters, in scrambled eggs, or added to your breakfast cereals or salads during the week.

The quinoa itself can be blended into a thick and creamy texture, where it is used in baby foods, as a soup thickener or even as a custard or pudding dessert.

8. I am vegan/vegetarian. Can I benefit from eating quinoa?

Quinoa is a terrific non-animal protein source and provides all eight essential amino acids. It is highly digestible and versatile food product that allows vegetarians/vegans to increase their meal options.

 

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