I decided it was about time I discussed the much talked about food of late – quinoa. My staff room, has a running joke that I am the health nut who only eats kale and quinoa. Well first of all I am not a kale lover. I know it is amazing for you and everyone should eat it. But I figure I am healthy enough that I don’t need to force feed myself something that I am just not into, I eat plenty of spinach to make up for it! Quinoa on the other hand well they may be right there. Considering they cannot yet pronounce it, let alone cook it. I figured I would finally give them an insight and see if I can turn them into quinoa addicts too!!! So here goes my attempt.
What is all the hype about anyway?
- Protein. Quinoa is a complete protein, this means it has all the essential amino acids the body requires from food. Quinoa along with eggs and meat are the only foods that are complete protein. If trying to consume more protein, then get cooking with quinoa.
- Calories. It is low in calories making it great for anyone on a weight loss journey. With under 200 calories for a half a cup of cooked quinoa.
- Gluten – free. Quinoa it is not related to wheat or grain, it is gluten-free. Therefore if you are coeliac or have an intolerance to wheat it is a great option. (Side note: gluten free cakes are not healthier, they are just more suitable for those who are coeliac).
- Low GI. Quinoa is low on the GI scale unlike while breads or white pasta. This means it will not affect your blood sugar levels. It will instead maintain them, giving you constant energy throughout the day. This is good for weight management also.
- Fiber. Quinoa is very high in fiber, great for anyone who is not so good with their vegetables.
- Iron. High in iron so will help all the vegetarians out there too.
- The basic recipe will be 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. Bring quinoa and liquid to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and allow simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Do not add too much liquid or you will end up with a ‘pudding’ consistency. This has happened to me a number of times, I hang my head in shame!
- You may need to rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking but most quinoa now comes pre rinsed. Check the pack.
- Quinoa can be toasted in a little oil for a more nutty flavour. Then boil as above.
- Cook quinoa in other liquids such as vegetable or chicken stock, add herbs een some lemon juice for a delicious flavour.
- Fluff through with a fork once done.
Recipes to entice
Today I am going to share with you my tried and tested and delicious quinoa bowl. Those who do eat quinoa probably add it to a salad or as a side with dinner. But this may be a recipe most will not have tried before. So let’s get started.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- 50g quinoa
- 240ml water or half almond milk and half water
- 50g Raspberries or any berry
- 1 Banana
- Greek yogurt
- Lightly toast quinoa until it starts to pop in saucepan.
- Add water or milk to the same saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes
- Add the honey and fruit to a blender and puree.
- Stir through puree
- Top with greek yogurt, extra berries or some nuts for texture.
Top with Berry and Banana puree
A dollop of fage greek yogurt for extra protein!
Swirl it all together and devour!
This is only one recipe of thousands you can find online. It is such a versatile ingredient. From quinoa salads, to quinoa burgers, quinoa based pizza, sweet potato and quinoa fritters. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, hot or cold, the list is endless… For something really hearty, Wellanicity has a great quinoa chilli pot pictured below. Find full recipe here. For a healthy treat for the kids, instead of rice crispy buns try these quinoa and cacao crispy treats from Deliciously Ella. Chocolate treat without the guilt. What could be better. Full recipe here.
So that’s it for this week. I really hope this has inspired you to give quinoa a try. Remember the soul reason for eating food is to actually fuel the body. Yes it should be enjoyed but what is more important is our health, not only the taste. So if that means taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Trying something new and nutritious, surely for the good of your health it is worth it.
Have a great weekend
The Wholesome Nut x