Quinoa is a relatively new and fancy grain that has been lauded as a true superfood since it first hit supermarket shelves. It’s true that there are a whole host of health benefits, and the Incas regarded it as the ‘mother grain’, that they grew high up in the Andes.
All that said, how good is the mysterious seed, really? Is it difficult to cook with? Hard to find? In the course of this article, I’m going to unpack all of that, and we’ll delve into it in a big way.
How Do You Cook Quinoa?
It is typically prepared much like rice. Strictly speaking, it should be rinsed or soaked before cooking to remove the coating, which has a slightly bitter taste. Then, you can proceed to bring two cups of water to the boil for every one cup of quinoa, and boil it for approximately fifteen minutes.
Once it’s finished boiling, the cooked germ should separate from the seed slightly, and the quinoa should have quadrupled in size! As it absorbs so much water in the cooking process, it’s worth boiling your quinoa in stock or as part of a one-pot meal in order to impart some extra flavour into the seed.
What Quinoa Should I Buy?
As foodstuffs go, it is relatively untampered with from farm to fork. Because of this, there isn’t much of a disparity between more and less expensive brands, save for the fairtrade varieties. You should always aim to buy fairtrade ingredients, in my opinion, and this is no exception. With a fairtrade logo, all the workers involved in the manufacture of the dish have been fairly compensated for their work.
To sum up: aim to buy packets which have a fairtrade logo on the bag, and make sure to check the package for any small rips or tears.
How Healthy Is It?
To cut a long story short: it’s incredibly healthy.
It’s completely gluten-free, and it’s also a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids!
It is also very high in fibre. This is particularly good for gut health, as you may know, but what you might not know is that quinoa has roughly twice the fibre per gram than other grains! This means that the same amount of it can have an even better effect on your gut health than similar grains.
Finally, quinoa is high in important minerals like iron and magnesium. Many people don’t get as much of certain important nutrients in their diets as they should, either because they don’t eat enough of them, or phytic acid in food makes the nutrients bioavailable. By soaking the quinoa, you can make the minerals more available, and increase quinoa’s health benefits.
To sum up: it’s really good for you! It’s typically easy to get your hands on, simple and straightforward to cook, and it has great vitamins and minerals in it. There are some great recipes online, so make sure to get a bag of quinoa and find a recipe you like today!
The following recipes use this wonderful seed and are also great on Slimming World.
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