It is high in fiber and protein and low in fat. It is one the few sources of complete of protein making it a popular food for healthy vegetarians. It is full of minerals and vitamins and best of all unlike most other grains, it is completely gluten-free.
Although it is a seed, it is often referred to as a grain. It has a nutty flavor and the texture is somewhat fluffy and a little soft. It is extremely versatile making it adaptable in many recipes. A whole cup of quinoa is quick to make taking only 15 minutes. I do recommend as in other grains and seeds that you soak the quinoa overnight. By soaking grains and seeds, your body is able to digest better and efficiently.
Basic recipe requires cooking it with two parts water and one part quinoa. Combine water and quinoa in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes. You can substitute chicken or vegetable stock for water. One way to know when the quinoa is done is when all the grains have a transparent color to it. It is cooked very similar to how you cook rice. this is a basic way of cooking quinoa and from here you can create some yummy recipes.
The most common type of quinoa is beige, cream color but there are also red and black variety available. Quinoa is quite reasonable is price so I do recommend buying organic.
It can be turned into a hot breakfast cereal with cooking it as mentioned above and adding thinly sliced apples or raisins, milk or a little cream with some brown sugar.
Saute some diced carrots, garlic, green onions, celery, and sweet red pepper in a pan. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and any other of your preferred spices to taste. When the vegetables have been cooked for about 5 minutes, add the cooked quinoa. You can add some olive oil or a little bit of butter. Enjoy as a complete meal or as a side dish.
You can make a great stir fry recipe. Use Sesame oil or tea tree oil as that is a great oil to use for oriental cooking and flavor. Add oil to a pan and saute with garlic, grated ginger, green onions, snow peas, broccoli, bok choy, and any other vegetables you want to throw in there from your refrigerator. Add soy or tamari, and chilli sauce. Tamari is basically soy sauce without the gluten so I prefer to buy that over the traditional soy sauce. You can also add steamed shrimp or chicken to this. Pour over quinoa and enjoy.
You can substitute half of your all-purpose flour for quinoa flour in your baking and instantly make your baked goodies healthier. You can also use this substitution technique for making waffles, flatbreads, and even oven baked chips.
You can pretty much substitute quinoa with any other grain especially rice. Because of its high content of protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, it is a superfood that should be part of your diet.