I’m not sure about you, but I feel like quinoa has been popping up everywhere recently, though, it’s for good reason: quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is the king of the grain family, especially if you are eating a plant-based diet, like me. The benefits of this grain (though it’s actually a seed) will blow your mind, especially since, well, it’s just a little seed!
Quinoa’s protein content is so high that it could (and often is) used as a protein and not as a carbohydrate. It’s one of the few, plant-based, “superfoods“–quinoa contains “complete proteins” (meaning that it consists of all 8 amino acids that make up a protein). That’s why quinoa is the perfect grain for vegetarian and/or vegan, as it helps them getting their protein and iron intake.
Adding quinoa to my diet while recovering from my eating disorder allowed me to rebalance quickly and efficiently my protein and iron levels, giving me the strength I needed to recover.
Also, as meat consumption is not very healthy due to the high saturated fat content in animals, I strongly believe that anyone would benefit from eating more quinoa as their protein substitute (once or twice/week would be great). Quinoa is also second to millet in alkalinity.
You can find 3 different types of quinoa: black, red and white. The difference between the 3 of them is simply the texture. The white quinoa will be much softer after cooking and is perfect for porridges, breakfasts or desserts.
The red and black quinoa will stay firmer after being cooked and are then better for salads, lunches and dinners.
So if you don’t use it regularly, feel free to add it more often into your meals and be creative with it. If you are a big meat eater, I really recommend you to swap meat for quinoa at least twice a week and for fish once or twice a week. Ideally we shouldn’t eat read meat more than twice a week, and, anyways, it’s a delicious and versatile alternative!
Also, don’t forget that quinoa is a plant that produces its own natural insecticide. That’s why it’s important to soak it for a few hours and then discard the soaking water and rinse before cooking.
Convinced yet? If you’re new to quinoa but are eager to start including it in your diet, here’s a few recipes from my blog to start you off strong in your cooking adventures:
Photo Credit: Pauline Hanuise