Quinoa was one of the first foods I discovered when I decided to live a plant-based lifestyle. I had no clue what quinoa was but everything I read touted its terrific qualities. It was high in protein, it was tasty and it was easy to make. All of these items fell right into my wheelhouse for how I wanted to cook and for what I wanted to feed my body.
What I didn’t realize at the time was the versatility of quinoa. At first I made quinoa a side dish to go along with other plant-strong items, but since then it has become the star of many dishes including an oatmeal like meal. If you enjoy overnight oats then I suggest the next time that you swap out oats for quinoa and enjoy the different texture and taste of quinoa.
Facts About Quinoa
- The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as “The International Year of the Quinoa.”
- The history of quinoa is clearly rooted in South America, in the Andes region that is currently divided up between the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.
- Store quinoa in an airtight container. It will keep for a longer period of time, approximately three to six months, if stored in the refrigerator.
Tips About Cooking Quinoa
- To cook the quinoa, add one part of the grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover.
- One cup of quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare.
- When cooking is complete, you will notice that the grains have become translucent, and the white germ has partially detached itself, appearing like a white-spiraled tail.
- If you desire the quinoa to have a nuttier flavor, you can dry roast it before cooking; to dry roast, place it in a skillet over medium-low heat and stir constantly for five minutes.
Health Benefits Of Quinoa
- Rich in protein. It has nine essential amino acids, the protein balance is similar to milk. At 16.2 to 20 percent protein, it has is more protein than rice (7.5 percent), millet (9.9 percent) or wheat (14 percent).
- Rich in magnesium and contains lysine.
- It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar.
- Only 172 calories per 1/4 cup dry (24 of the calories from protein and only 12 from sugars, the rest are complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats).
Quinoa Salad For Spring Recipe
Nutritional Information (without the dressing):
418 calories, 60g Carbs, 18g Fat, 9g Protein, 11g Fiber
Thank you to Little Island Studios for the inspiration to make this dish.