The Benefits of Quinoa
‘The Humble Quinoa’
Quinoa or Chenopodium quinoa, is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It originated from Peru, Ecuador and Chile.
Here are just 5 of the top benefits of consuming quinoa…
Quinoa contains almost as much as twice the amount of fibre as other grains. This fibre content aids digestion and relieves constipation!
Quinoa is packed with complete protein. This means that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs. It is a great source of protein for vegetarians and is also gluten free!
Quinoa contains iron which helps to keep our red blood cells healthy! Iron also transports oxygen around the body, to fuel our muscle contraction.
Growth & Repair!
Quinoa also contains lysine. This is an amino acid that is used to synthesise proteins. This makes it is essential for tissue and muscle growth and repair!
Promotes Stable Blood Sugar Levels!
Quinoa has a low glycaemic index (GI) meaning that it releases energy into the bloodstream slowly. The benefit of this is that blood sugar levels remain relatively stable. Foods that have a high GI are thought to stimulate hunger and contribute to weight gain.
Top Tip: Remember to rinse quinoa before use to remove the bitter coating and drain after cooking to avoid a watery dish!
Just remember, quinoa should be consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Apple Crumble Porridge (serves 1)
Use quinoa as an alternative to oats for your morning porridge:
Rinse 70g quinoa in a sieve. Add quinoa and 125ml water to a pot. Simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Drain any remaining water. Return quinoa to the pot. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, half chopped (but not peeled) apple, 1tsp honey and 0.1 L milk. Stir over medium heat till apples are warm, 2 to 4 minutes. Top with 15g chopped hazelnuts.
Roasted Spring Vegetable Quinoa (Serves 2)
Why not try Kelsey’s roasted vegetable quinoa recipe (from top food blog Happyolks – http://happyolks.com/ ):
Bring 1 cups and a few extra tablespoons of water to a boil. Cook 1/2cup quinoa over medium heat for 15-18 minutes or until water is absorbed and the seed has germinated. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 180C. Rigorously wash 2 beets and 2 radishes, as you will not be peeling them before roasting. Cut beets and radishes into fourths, then sixths or 8ths (you want bite sized wedges). Toss wedges of radish, beets, and ½ bulb fennel together with 1tbsp olive oil in a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, turning veggies over to brown and soften on all sides. In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped parsley, chives, ½ diced red onion with cooled quinoa. In a small jar prepare the dressing by combining 1tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 whole lemons, salt, pepper, and 1 minced garlic cloves. Shake to combine. Add roasted vegetables to the quinoa mixture. Stir in dressing to coat.
Butternut Squash Risotto (serves 1)
Swap risotto rice for quinoa in this great vegetarian recipe:
Preheat oven to 180C. Peel and chop 125g butternut squash into chunks and roast with olive oil for 30minutes. Meanwhile make the risotto. Heat oil in a large pan over a low-medium heat. Fry 40g chopped onion and 1 clove garlic for 5 minutes or until soft. Add rinsed and drained quinoa and cook for a minute or so until crisp. Increase the heat and add 400ml stock, 1 ladle at a time, letting the quinoa absorb the stock before adding the next ladle. This should take around 10 minutes. Add 100g canned chopped tomatoes, lemon juice from ¼ lemon and zest, and any herbs of choice. Cook for a further 10minute or until quinoa is tender. Add 125g spinach and butternut squash at the end and cook for 5 further minutes.