Do you get overwhelmed every time you hear another super food out there that everyone talks about to sound cool. I’m also a little suspicious of anything that gets touted as a ‘superfood’ which is why it took me a while to get around to trying quinoa.
I like my food with a lot of flavours, so I have been experimenting cooking quinoa in different ways to make the most of the quinoa goodness by incorporating it into my meals at leas twice a week. So much goodness in one single food, it makes life easier by not having to worry about the protein content in my diet.
Here’s the 10 delicious facts about quinoa that I discovered in my last two years of experimenting:
1. Cool Pronunciation
I always feel a tiny bit cool when I discreetly correct people but apparently it is referred as ‘kin-wah’.
2. Different Colours
Quinoa comes in different varieties. I have used white, red and black coloured quinoa and they are all delicious. They add vibrant colour to a meal.
No matter how ‘good for you’ a food is, I don’t include it in my diet unless it passes the taste test. Slightly nutty and grainy, they’re something I could keep eating and eating.
4. Variety of Forms
Other than the varieties of whole quinoa, numerous products are available such as puffed quinoa, flakes and flour.
5. Protein Rich
High in protein, it’s pretty good on iron and fibre, which gets the nutritionists excited. Being a vegetarian, it’s a big positive for me and for most veggies. Quinoa is popular with nutritionists, chefs and celebrity fitness trainers alike.
6. Gluten Free
For people with gluten intolerence, they are always appreciative of new options to cook. Rolled quinoa flakes are a great option for breakfast as well.
7. Interesting Texture
Quinoa has a great nutty texture, a little like barley with its chewiness. It also has a light fluffiness akin to well prepared couscous.
8. Edible Leaves
Leaves of fresh quinoa are also edible. They look something like silverbeet or chard.
9. Readily Available
In Australiait’s available in the health food section of our supermarkets and also in health food shops.
10. Simple To Cook
Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Once cooked, red quinoa seeds look like they have been sprouted.
The most attractive feature of quinoa is its high protein content of 12-18% which is higher than meat. The proteins quinoa produces are a well-balanced mix that is superior to any other grain. It has a low glycaemic index (GI) and is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. With all of these great features it is not surprising that NASA is considering it as a potential crop for manned space flights in the future and that the Incas called it the ‘mother of all grain’.