What Is Quinoa?

What Is Quinoa?
Quinoa Cooking

Energy = 503kJ / 120kcal quinoa calories
Carbohydrates = 21.30g
Dietary fiber = 2.8 g
Fat = 1.92g
Protein = 4.40g

Thiamine = 0.107mg
Riboflavin = 0.110mg
Niacin = 0.412mg
Vitamin B6 = 0.123mg
Vitamin C = 0mg
Calcium = 17mg
Iron 1.49mg
Magnesium = 64mg
Phosphorus = 162mg
Potassium = 172mg
Zinc = 1.09mg

Here we have a look at the origins of quinoa, and a few facts. It’s pretty difficult these days not to have heard of quinoa, but there can never be too much information about anything, so we will also take a brief quinoa origins and cooking quinoa, what are the types of quinoa available and quinoa calories.

What is quinoa?

Many of you may well be asking ok, but ‘what is quinoa?’ It’s a good question; let’s find out!

The quinoa grain is a reasonably new addition to our diet, but has been cultivated by the South American Incas living in the Andes for more than 5,000 years.

The Incas considered quinoa to be sacred. It was known as the mother grain.

What are quinoa health benefits?

Quinoa is known to be packed full of protein and is rich in niacin, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Quinoa is high in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains.

Additionally, the calories present in quinoa are similar to those present in a serving of brown rice.

Although almost always known as a grain or cereal, quinoa is not strictly either because it is not a member of the grass family. It is actually a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) – so called because of the shape of the leaf – grown primarily for its edible seeds.

Information on how to cook quinoa


Quinoa is as versatile as grain. It can often substitute it most dishes, so cooking quinoa for people with allergies and sensitivities can be a new and interesting alternative.

Quinoa can often be mixed to dishes as a thickening agent. However, red quinoa is not as effective as a thickening agent as it tends to remain slightly firmer than the white quinoa.

Let’s cook quinoa!

It is very easy to prepare and can be boiled in a similar fashion to rice. When cooking quinoa, remember it takes less time than other whole grains; around 10-12 minutes . However, also bear in mind that although there is little difference between the varieties – red quinoa tends to take longer to cook, so increase cooking time by many minutes. You can tell it is properly cooked when a tail develops.

Not only can it be used in place of grain – including rice – it can also be ground into flour to make bread and pasta. Quinoa is also delicious eaten as a side dish by itself, or in salads.

It can even be used in desserts – use quinoa instead of rice for your favourite rice pudding.

And cooking quinoa in desserts, as well using it in your everyday cooking, is just as simple and easy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When buying in bulk, and not in packets

Quinoa salad recipe ingredients:

75g quinoa (white or red quinoa), 1 large zucchini (courgette), 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, splash olive oil, 1 chopped red or green chili, 150g crumbled feta cheese, 100g cherry tomatoes sliced in two, 4 finely sliced spring onions, parsley

How to make your easy Quinoa Recipe

Prepare the quinoa following the instructions on the packaging. Using cold water, drain the quinoa twice with a sieve or tight colander. Leave to cool for a while.

Slice the ends off the zucchini then, using a potato peeler, slice into thin strips.

Whisk together the vinegar and two tablespoons of olive oil, season.

Put the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, leaving a handful of the cheese aside. Pour over the dressing and toss everything together. Sprinkle the remaining crumbled feta on top.

The Red Quinoa Grain

The Red Quinoa Grain

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