Quinoa is an ancient grain that originates from the Andean Mountains of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Columbia. Quinoa was first cultivated by the Incas thousands of years ago and is now a go-to ingredient in healthy meal plans! Our Jess shares the benefits of quinoa, how to cook it and why it’s her favorite lunch time staple.
Quinoa (keen-wah) is a gluten free grain which is technically a seed. (It’s commonly referred to as a psuedo-grain!) Quinoa contains carbohydrates as well as protein and fiber so it counts as both a carbohydrate and a starchy protein. The small round seeds can be found in several varieties and colors such as red, black and yellowish-white which is the most popular and can easily be found in stores. So what does quinoa taste like?? It has a delicious, delicate and subtle nutty flavor which is easily versatile for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Quinoa also can be found as a flour or in flake form. This is one of my personal favorites that I will make on my batch cooking mornings to go into roasted veggie salads, curries or chilis - it’s delicious hot or cold!
Now that you know what quinoa is and what it tastes like you are probably thinking “okay so what are the nutritional benefits of quinoa?”. Well, quinoa is one of nature’s complete proteins which means it has all 9 of the essential amino acids us humans need to function…. Pretty amazing right?? This makes quinoa an excellent choice for vegan who are looking for ways to get enough protein in their plant-based diets.
1 cup of cooked quinoa = 8 grams protein and contains fiber, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese!
It’s actually very easy! Simply mix 1 cup of dry quinoa seeds with 2 cups of water. Boil for 10-20 minutes and let simmer until the seeds expand and become fluffy. Use a fork to ‘fluff’ the quinoa and enjoy!
health tips from our nutritionist
jess' favorite quinoa recipes
- Quinoa cereal
- Swap quinoa instead of rice for stir-fries or a side dishes
- Quinoa with roasted vegetables, pesto and poached salmon on top
- Quinoa pancakes
- Quinoa salad with tabbouleh
Ancient grains are so popular we couldn’t wait to try them out in one of our flapjack experiments in the graze labs. We created our quinoa flakes by flattening raw quinoa seeds then mixing them with whole rolled oats. All of our flapjacks are baked in small batches so the rolled oats and quinoa flakes keep all their natural goodness for a healthy snack that is a source of dietary fiber and manganese. (Manganese is a nutrient that supports the immune system and protects cells from oxidative stress.) Then we added cacao powder and cacao nibs for a delicious energy boosting snack!try it today!