Have you ever tried quinoa? It has been hailed as a “supergrain” by some, and it definitely has a lot going for it. Here are 5 reasons to like quinoa.
- Quinoa is wheat free and a safe option for people on a gluten-free diet.
- It is high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes quinoa a great source of proteins for vegans and vegetarians.
- Quinoa is packed with other goodies too. It contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.
- It’s very versatile. I’ve tried delicious savoury and sweet recipes with quinoa.
- It yields a higher scrabble score than other grains and staples! Quinoa will score you a whopping 15 points for such a short word. Compare that to a measly 6 for rice, 7 for pasta, 11 for wheat and 12 for couscous.
Need the proof that quinoa is versatile?
Here are three ways to prepare it, covering all bases – hot, cold, sweet, savoury, staple or star of the show:
1. Quinoa as a staple
You can basically use quinoa to substitute rice or couscous. Rice with chilli? Make it quinoa with chilli. A nice veggie tagine? Spoon it over quinoa instead of couscous. It even cooks similar to rice: Wash the quinoa thoroughly before cooking, as it will help reduce a foamy layer that forms when cooking and which adds a slight bitterness. Then work with the ratio of 2 cups of water per 1 cup of quinoa and boil until soft.
2. Zesty quinoa salad, which is as delicious hot or cold.
This is my favourite quinoa recipe:
Cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, until the quinoa is soft.
Add halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced spring onions, one can of black beans, some cubed feta cheese, diced avocado and fresh coriander.
For the dressing, mix 1/4 cup of olive oil, the juice of 2 limes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin, salt and chilli flakes to your taste
3. Quinoa for pudding
If you boil up the quinoa with coconut milk instead of water, you have a lovely base for a pudding. The consistency is similar to rice pudding, but with a coconut flavour twist and the “blank canvas” quality of overnight oats. You can basically add whichever flavours you fancy: Cardamom, dark chocolate and soft brown sugar are some of my favourites, but cinnamon, banana and maple syrup are also a winner. Add dried fruit or nuts for another texture.
Ready to give quinoa a try? Get it in our Real Economy shop.