Quinoa has caught the attention of many people over the past years and it is also a delicacy in many restaurants. It can be found in many grocery stores, so you can just buy and prepare it at home. Quinoa is also used by people who are trying to cut on carbs and it is the perfect substitute for other grains. However, if you are not aware of what quinoa is and what it tastes like then this article is definitely a must read for you. The first part of this article is to explain what quinoa is and how it tastes like. Moving on, this article will highlight the nutrients and health benefits of quinoa and it will lastly explain how quinoa can be cooked.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa pronounced as keen-wah is a flowering plant in the amaranth family and it originated in South America. It is a herb like plant grown as a crop primarily for the benefit of its edible seeds. Quinoa is a gluten free, whole grain carbohydrate, as well as a whole protein. This means that quinoa contains all the 9 essential amino acids. It is mainly used as a low carb substitute of rice and other grains. Quinoa comes in different colours and varieties, the most popular one is white but it can also be found as black, red and even purple.
How quinoa tastes like
Quinoa tastes like brown rice mixed with oat meal. The taste of quinoa is fluffy, creamy, crunchy with a bit of nutty flavour to it. When overcooked quinoa becomes gummy, therefore it needs to be slightly under cooked for it to have a good texture.
Nutrients and health benefits of quinoa
Quinoa is rich in magnesium
Quinoa contains about 30% of the recommended daily allowance for magnesium. It also helps to control blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels. Magnesium is important because it helps to relax blood vessels thus reducing the risks of migraine headaches.
Quinoa contains iron
Iron is a very important mineral in the body since it helps with haemoglobin formation, which ensures that the body has red blood cells. Furthermore, iron helps to carry oxygen from one cell to another and also supplies oxygen to our muscles. Iron also aids muscle metabolism.
Quinoa contains manganese
Manganese is an antioxidant found in quinoa and it helps to protect the body from free radicals that cause diseases. So if you want to maintain a healthy life style you can try quinoa.
Quinoa contains all 9 of the amino acids
Quinoa is healthy because it contains all nine of the amino acids and these include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, valine, threonine, methionine, phenylalanine and tryptophan. When food contains all the 9 amino acids it is referred to as a whole protein. These amino acids are very important since the body requires them but the body cannot produce them, so by taking quinoa you are strengthening your immune system.
Quinoa is high in fibre
The other benefit of quinoa is that it is very high in fibre content and this helps to reduce constipation. Quinoa contains 15.42% of the recommended daily allowance of fibre, this means that if you take quinoa you won’t face problems with constipation. Consuming food with high fibre also helps to reduce high blood pressure and also it lowers the cholesterol levels.
How to cook quinoa
This is the perfect method to use when cooking quinoa especially if you want to add flavour to it as well as a pleasant fragrance to it. The first step when toasting quinoa is to place it in a skillet over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Then the quinoa is toasted it will start releasing a nutty fragrance and it will have a nice golden colour to it.
When cooking quinoa just add 2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa so that it cooks evenly, the result of using this method is a light and fluffy quinoa. If you want to add more flavour to the quinoa you can substitute the water with chicken broth this will help to enhance the flavour of quinoa. It is important to note that when cooking quinoa using this method you should only add salt when the quinoa is well cooked otherwise it won’t absorb the water properly.
Add quinoa to soups
The other way of cooking quinoa is by adding it to soups. It blends very well with the soup and it doesn’t soak up all the broth. So if you want to make a simple dish using quinoa you can try this recipe, you won’t regret it.
Use quinoa for baking
Quinoa can be used to make muffins, you can look for the recipe and try it out. Adding quinoa to muffins gives it a great flavour and the nice thing about quinoa muffins is they can be eaten by everyone and they have a very delicious flavour to them.
The above article has highlighted what quinoa is and how it tastes like. Quinoa can be used a substitute for other grains like rice and it originated in South America. It is gluten free, thus it is suitable for individuals who are gluten intolerant. The taste of quinoa is fluffy, creamy, and crunchy with a bit of nutty flavour to it. When cooking quinoa it is important to keep a close eye on it and also add the appropriate amount of water so that it does not overcook. Quinoa also has a number of nutrients which are essential for human well-being and some of the nutrients include manganese, iron, magnesium and fibre. The article also noted the various methods in which quinoa can be cooked for example it can be toasted, it can be boiled, it can be incorporated when baking and also it can be added to soups. If you are keen to try out quinoa then you can use this article as guide on what exactly you can use it for and also which flavours to expect.