Is quinoa good
Quinoa - the healthy superfood
For many, the letter combinations in square brackets are still a mystery long after you graduate from school, but if you are able to use the phonetic spelling, you will now know how to pronounce quinoa at the latest. Namely like this: [Ki’no: a]. Besides pronunciation, what really interests us is: what is quinoa? Is it really as healthy as is claimed? And how do you prepare the seeds so that they taste good? We share our concentrated knowledge on the subject and show you our favorite recipes with quinoa.
What is quinoa?
When looking for quinoa, a visit to a well-stocked supermarket or an organic grocery store is usually enough to find it. Packaged in plastic, the seeds are often placed on the same shelf as the grains rice or millet - quinoa is not a grain. As affectionately titled The seeds of pseudograins do not contain any gluten and are therefore gluten-free.
While we have a small selection of white, red, and black seeds, sometimes a combination of all three, there are around 1,800 different varieties around the world with subtle differences. In terms of taste, white quinoa comes closest to the robust bulgur, the red grains have a distinctly nuttier taste. Quinoa is also available in in puffed form or as flakes to buy. Both are suitable in combination with nuts and kernels for the preparation of sweet breakfast mueslis.
Do you already know our protein muesli? The mixture of soy flakes with cashews and almonds can be pimped with puffed quinoa in no time and thus forms the perfect basis for an unbeatable breakfast.Discover muesli now
For those who want to know exactly: the quinoa plant belongs to the goosefoot family from a botanical point of view and thus to the family of beetroot or spinach. That may be surprising at first, but if you look over into the Andes region, you quickly understand why that can be. Because while we only use the seeds for the preparation of quinoa recipes, in other parts of the world the leaves of the quinoa plants are also eaten. Because of the Mayans who discovered quinoa an estimated 6,000 years ago, the edible seeds are also known by the name Inca ice.
How healthy is quinoa?
Let's get to the question that worries us most: is quinoa healthy? The cooked seeds are considered THE superfood among the superfoods and, if the quinoa advocates of the world have their way, should have a permanent place on every menu. Before you go out to stock your kitchen cupboard with a colorful mix of quinoa, let's take a very close look at the ingredients.
Calories and Nutrients from Quinoa
With around 360 kcal per 100 g, quinoa contains roughly the same number of calories in white rice. Here is an overview of the distribution of macronutrients:
|Nutritional values||per 100 g of quinoa|
Numbers say more than a thousand words? That may often be the case, but we like a combination of both. Therefore, a brief explanation of the individual macronutrients follows.
- Protein: In a direct comparison with other plant-based foods, quinoa scores particularly well in the protein category. At 16 g to 100 g, quinoa is a presentable source of protein for vegetarians and vegans as well as for meat eaters. And best of all: The Inca ice contains all nine essential amino acids and is therefore officially one of the high-quality sources of protein.
- Carbohydrates: One thing is obvious: with 60% carbohydrates, quinoa is not a classic low carb food. But that shouldn't stop you from cooking quinoa, because the carbohydrates it contains are complex and therefore a good source of energy.
- Fat: Quinoa is low in fat and can also be eaten as part of a low-fat diet. 70 percent of the fatty acids contained are also unsaturated, i.e. healthy fatty acids.
- Dietary fiber: With 7 g of fiber per 100 g, quinoa ensures a long-lasting feeling of satiety and supports a healthy metabolism.
The macro distribution already strongly suggests that quinoa is rightly known as a superfood. The vitamins and minerals confirm this assumption. The seeds not only score with top marks in terms of things Iron, potassium and magnesium but also contain conspicuously high amounts Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6.
Have you always been interested in vitamins? Then take a look at our post on the topic. Here you can find everything you should know about vitamins.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, the plant-based food also contains secondary plant substances. According to the current state of knowledge, these are among other things assigned an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect. Sounds pretty healthy, doesn't it?
Quinoa is gluten-free
A few lines above, we mentioned that Incan rice is gluten-free.
Gluten is found in cereals Glutinous protein, which causes great complaints in everyday life, especially for patients with celiac disease. The disease, which has features of an allergy and an autoimmune disease at the same time, can vary in severity. In addition to celiaki sufferers, other people also complain of digestive problems after consuming gluten. As gluten-free pseudograins Quinoa can also be eaten by anyone who cannot tolerate gluten.
Calories and macros - check. Vitamins and nutrients - check. Gluten-free - check too. After this extensive list, we can clearly answer yes to the question of whether quinoa is a superfood. Quinoa is definitely healthy. Whether you need a nutrition plan to be more visible Musculature to step up, or a plan to get one Weight loss to drive, quinoa can always be integrated.
Do you have personal goals in which your energy intake plays a decisive role in addition to exercise? Our calorie calculator can help you achieve these faster by telling you exactly what your daily calorie requirement is.
Quinoa in comparison
In a direct comparison to vegetable grains (rice, millet, oats) and pseudograins (buckwheat, amaranth), quinoa performs extremely well. It has more complex carbohydrates and a strong aminogram. However, that doesn't mean that all you have to do is eat quinoa. Every plant-based food that can be assigned to the cereal or pseudo-cereal category has positive ingredients. It's all in the mix!
Has porridge been your favorite breakfast option for a long time? Then check out our article on oatmeal. Although oats are not gluten-free as a grain, just like quinoa they contain valuable vitamins and nutrients.
Cooking quinoa: the right preparation
With all of this information in mind, do you want to give quinoa a try? Great! Finally, we advocate recipes with the pseudo-grain. A little bit of information: While white and black are very similar in preparation and taste, only differ a little in consistency (black quinoa is crunchier), red quinoa usually requires a slightly longer cooking time. So that stirring in the hot pot brings a fluffy result, here are the most important tips which must be taken into account when cooking quinoa.
- If you've ever tasted quinoa with a bitter note, the chef has forgotten something important. In factto wash the seeds before cooking. The bitter taste is due to the traces of saponin, which can still be contained in a tightly closed package. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, you can put the seeds in a colander and wash them thoroughly under cold running water.
- Each variety has its own requirements for cooking time, so the following applies: Read the instructions on the packaging to prevent the quinoa from becoming grainy or mushy. In general: Cook quinoa in a ratio of 1: 3 in simmering water. For an average portion of 80 g of quinoa, there is about 240 ml of water. Similar to rice, quinoa swells when cooked.
- Do you still have your sieve at hand? After cooking, you should have the cooked Inca rice absolutely pour off. The reason: the seeds take up a large part of the water, but not all of it. To prevent the cooked quinoa from becoming mushy afterwards, you should definitely drain the cooked seeds.
- Have you included your quinoa as a side dish? Great, because then you can serve directly. In the event that you want to use the seeds to prepare a salad, for example, you should add something to the strained seeds let cool down. The result after 15 minutes of rest: fluffy quinoa.
Quinoa Recipes: Our Top 5
Now that you know exactly what you have to consider when cooking quinoa in order to achieve a perfect result, the only thing missing is the right recipes. Here you can find our five favorite healthy recipes with quinoa.
Creamy quinoa porridge
What many do not know: Quinoa can also be used to prepare sweet recipes. If you have a pack of quinoa in the kitchen cupboard next to the fine-leaf oat flakes, you can use it to cook a creamy porridge with hot blueberries and chopped nuts. For a vegan breakfast bowl, simply swap the whey protein in the recipe for our plant-based protein powder.To the recipe
Caramel Quinoa Pops
Our second quinoa recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to fill their secret snack drawer with something sweet. In just ten minutes, puffed quinoa, white chia seeds, caramel protein powder, peanut butter and milk become the basis for our caramel quinoa pops. Don't forget: brush generously with protein hazelnut cream and enjoy.To the recipe
Quinoa salad to go!
We have provided breakfast and snacks. Now all that's missing is a good lunch to look forward to all morning. A quinoa salad with green beans, fresh cucumber and spicy feta cheese awaits you in this lunch box for the break gong. What makes this recipe for the full lunch box really delicious: aromatic mint, sweet pomegranate seeds and our protein bar for dessert.
Quinoa and tomato salad
A quinoa salad is not enough for us. We have another recipe for you to add variety to your lunch break. Cooked quinoa, fresh tomatoes and aromatic parsley land in this salad bowl with a slightly spicy lemon vinaigrette. A little tip: prepare the quinoa salad with tomatoes in the evening and serve with creamy yogurt for lunch.
Spinach roulade with quinoa and mushroom filling
Can it be a little more elaborate? No matter whether you are planning a cozy dinner for one or a colorful menu for your best friends, our spinach roulade with quinoa and mushroom filling meets all the criteria for the perfect starter. The small bites are easy to prepare and, thanks to the seared mushrooms, are wonderfully spicy.
Antonio Vega-Galvez (2010): Nutrition Facts and Functional Potential of Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.), An Ancient Andean Grain: A Review
DGE: Pseudograins: Gluten-free alternatives for the grain kitchen
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