Learning About Quinoa

If you’re looking for a highly nutritious carbohydrate, that’s not only going to help you stay lean, but will also maximize your energy levels, then you’re looking in the right place, because quinoa really does have it all! If you’re wondering about the pronunciation it’s pronounced “KEEN-wah“, and the taste and texture of it is a bit like brown rice crossed with oatmeal. It’s fluffy, creamy, crunchy and somewhat nutty, all rolled into one. The great thing is, it can be prepared in so many different ways, making it extremely versatile.

What Is Quinoa

Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. The seeds are round, about the same size of millet or sesame seeds, and come in a rainbow of colors, from red to purple to green to yellow, but the quinoa that is most commonly found in stores is an off-white color. Look for quinoa in the bulk section of natural food stores, or in the organic section of conventional supermarkets.

Nutrition Information

A cup of quinoa will give you around 254 calories, 2 grams of fat, 23.4 grams of carbohydrates (2 of those being fiber), and 4.5 grams of protein. In fact, it has a pretty similar nutritional profile to that of brown rice, except it’s slightly higher in overall protein content.

A Complete Protein

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It's also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber. So, it’s a really great choice, particularly if you’re a vegetarian or vegan.


Great For Cardiovascular Health & Antioxidant Support

Quinoa is especially high in is magnesium, which is important for maintaining good cardiovascular health. Magnesium helps to relax the blood vessels, reducing the rates of hypertension, heart disease, or heart arrhythmias. Regular intake of antioxidants is so important for warding off the damaging effects of free radicals, which we encounter on a daily basis. Quinoa does a wonderful job of boosting your antioxidant levels, being high in both manganese and copper, which help to promote a healthy immune system, and ensure that red blood cells remain in top condition.

Reduces Risk Of Gallstones

Since quinoa is high in fiber, it helps keep the digestive system running smoothly, and can also help reduce your chance of getting gallstones.A study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, found that those eating foods mostly rich in insoluble fibre, had a 17% lower risk of getting gallstones.

So, if you love your carbs, but would really like to find a healthier option, quinoa is a great substitute for those higher-carb foods.

How To Cook Quinoa

Most commercially available quinoa has already been cleaned, but you should still give it a thorough rinsing before cooking to be sure to remove any remaining residue. Wash the seeds in cold, running water.

To cook, add one part quinoa to two parts liquid (one cup quinoa to two cups water or broth), bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The seeds will become translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little tail. Using broth to cook the Quinoa adds extra flavor, try chicken, beef or vegetable broth.

Quinoa has a light, slightly nutty taste and a fluffy texture. It makes a tasty porridge or casserole and can be added to soups and stews.

Tips For Using Quinoa

Eat as breakfast porridge.

Add quinoa to your favourite soups, stir-fry or casseroles.

Combine cooked, chilled quinoa with chickpeas, roasted red pepper, scallions and coriander.

Use sprouted quinoa in salads and sandwiches because it is similar to alfalfa sprouts.

Ground quinoa flour can be added to cookie or muffin recipes.





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