Quinoa is a relatively new and fancy grain that has been lauded as a true superfood since it first hit supermarket shelves. It’s true that there are a whole host of health benefits, and the Incas regarded it as the ‘mother grain’, that they grew high up in the Andes.

All that said, how good is the mysterious seed, really? Is it difficult to cook with? Hard to find? In the course of this article, I’m going to unpack all of that, and we’ll delve into it in a big way.

Cooked Quinoa
Cooked quinoa

How Do You Cook Quinoa?

It is typically prepared much like rice. Strictly speaking, it should be rinsed or soaked before cooking to remove the coating, which has a slightly bitter taste. Then, you can proceed to bring two cups of water to the boil for every one cup of quinoa, and boil it for approximately fifteen minutes.

Once it’s finished boiling, the cooked germ should separate from the seed slightly, and they should have quadrupled in size! As it absorbs so much water in the cooking process, it’s worth boiling your quinoa in stock or as part of a one-pot meal in order to impart some extra flavour into the seed.

Quinoa breakfast bowl
Quinoa breakfast bowl

What Quinoa Should I Buy?

As foodstuffs go, it is relatively untampered with from farm to fork. Because of this, there isn’t much of a disparity between more and less expensive brands, save for the fairtrade varieties. You should always aim to buy fairtrade ingredients, in my opinion, and this is no exception. With a fairtrade logo, all the workers involved in the manufacture of the dish have been fairly compensated for their work.

To sum up: aim to buy packets that have a fairtrade logo on the bag, and make sure to check the package for any small rips or tears.

How Healthy Is It?

To cut a long story short: it’s incredibly healthy.

It’s completely gluten-free, and it’s also a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids!

It is also very high in fibre. This is particularly good for gut health, as you may know, but what you might not know is that quinoa has roughly twice the fibre per gram than other grains! This means that the same amount of it can have an even better effect on your gut health than similar grains.

Finally, it is high in important minerals like iron and magnesium. Many people don’t get as many of certain important nutrients in their diets as they should, either because they don’t eat enough of them, or phytic acid in food makes the nutrients bioavailable. By soaking the quinoa, you can make the minerals more available, and increase quinoa’s health benefits.

To sum up: it’s really good for you! It’s typically easy to get your hands on, simple and straightforward to cook, and it has great vitamins and minerals in it. There are some great recipes online, so make sure to get a bag of quinoa and find a recipe you like today!

Plum quinoa salad
Roasted plum quinoa salad

Healthy quinoa recipes

The following recipes use this wonderful seed and are also great on healthy diets. If you follow Slimming World, Weight Watchers (WW), Noom or any other weight loss plan you can usually count the ingredients within this recipe in your allowances. It is of course important to check yourself any plan you follow and remember all nutritional information and ingredients are found in the recipe card below.

Quinoa breakfast bowl

Veggie Quinoa and black bean burgers

Tex-Mex style quinoa

Quinoa stuffed peppers

Roast plum, sweet potato and quinoa salad

Cooked Quinoa
Cooked quinoa

Other ingredients tips you may like

If you like to cook with different ingredients and find different ways of using them then here are a few other articles I think you might like.

All you need to know about celeriac and how to use it

Oats an original superfood with lots of uses

Is couscous healthy, how you can use couscous well

How to grow your own vegetables from scraps

Jackfruit – what is it and how to use it

Cranberry juice – what are the benefits of it and how can you enjoy it

Seaweed – an unusual ingredient you should consider

Quinoa infographic

I have a lot of weight loss guides and support if you want to exercise including if you have a condition like fibromyalgia.

Have a good look around and see how I can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Request my free resources to get you started too!

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