Quinoa, (pronounced keen wa) is the perfect food. People use it like a grain as the staple carb in their meal, but it’s actually a seed not a grain. A great thing about quinoa is it’s quick to cook in around 10 – 15 minutes, has the highest levels of protein of most grains and the best thing about quinoa is that provides all 9 essential amino acids.
Quinoa is gluten free so it’s perfect for you if you are following a gluten free diet, and even if you’re not it’s still an extremely healthy option. Quinoa is gradually becoming more and more popular so if you can’t find this in your normal store, you should be able to find it in a health food shop or order quinoa online. It’s really worth checking out because it’s so versatile in all your meal planning.
Top 10 reasons quinoa is good for you
It’s high in vitamins A, C and E, which makes it a great antioxidant. It’s high in minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium. It has eight essential amino acids, so if you ate quinoa and nothing else, your body could digest it and use it. When you eat quinoa, you will use 90 percent of the good stuff being put into your body. Quinoa is an excellent source of iron. Quinoa is also a good source of fiber. It’s a great option for parents who are having a tough time getting their kids to eat vegetables, which are also full of this important part of your family’s diet. Quinoa is very low on the glycemic index, so when your kids eat it, it sustains them for longer. Quinoa is hypoallergenic, so it’s easy to add into any family’s diet. This seed is a complete protein.
Try a Quinoa Smoothie to Start Your Day Right
Quinoa works amazingly well in smoothies. It blends up easily as it’s soft, and it’s so neutral I can’t taste it at all. I also felt even lighter after drinking a quinoa smoothie so I’d really urge you to give it a try and see how you feel. It’s very easy to digest so perfect if you have digestive problems. A cup of cooked quinoa actually has much less calories than oats too so it’s also an ideal food if you are trying to lose weight. However if one cup of cooked quinoa isn’t filling enough for you, try adding one and a half cups. According to cronometer.com a cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories and rolled oats have 307 calories. Quinoa expands when it cooks so one cup of uncooked quinoa will make a greater quantity of cooked quinoa.
To prepare quinoa for your smoothie, you either have to cook it or soak it. Whatever you do, make sure you rinse it first to remove the bitter saponin. To cook it, you can usually bring about 1 cup of quinoa along with 2 cups of water to the boil, then simmer it for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. You will have to watch it carefully at the final stages to ensure it doesn’t stick when all the water is absorbed.
To soak quinoa, you could soak 1 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water overnight. The quinoa will still be pretty crunchy at this stage and it would be worth rinsing it again before adding it to your smoothie.
Quinoa can be eaten raw if it’s soaked first. Some people like to sprout their quinoa but it might depend on the type of quinoa you’ve got, whether this is actually possible. Some think it’s harder to digest than cooked quinoa but it retains more of it’s nutrients this way.
I’ve given you a great recipe for a quinoa smoothie below made from honeydew melon and peaches. Quinoa will work in any smoothie recipe and will fill you up turning your green smoothie into an entire filling meal. One serving of the recipe is actually low in calories so it’s a good option if you’re trying to lose weight.
Honeydew and Peach Quinoa Smoothie Ingredients – Serves 2
1 Cup Water (If you are drinking this immediately substitute one cup of water for ice)
3 Cups Honeydew melon, about half a small melon (or any other white melon)
4 small Peaches
1 Cup Spinach, tightly packed or 2 cups loosely packed. (Or any other mild greens)
1 Cup Quinoa, cooked.
Blend the ingredients in the order listed. Add more water if required to thin it out. Substitute any of the ingredients for whatever you already have.
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