There are so many ways to use quinoa flakes, but this post narrows down the list and brings together the most popular ways you can use quinoa flakes.
Quinoa flakes. Do you use them? Do they scare you? Are you unsure what they even are? Let's chat.
These little flakes are definitely one of my favorite ingredients on earth. I use them all the time and even take me with them when I travel. But quinoa flakes can also be tricky to find. And once you do end up finding a box, there's a good chance you might be at a loss at what to do with them.
If you've been following here for a while then I'm sure you know how much I adore quinoa flakes. I sprinkle them into my recipes pretty much whenever I can, but it happens to be one of the ingredients I get the most questions about. So today, we're talking all things quinoa flakes.
Are Quinoa and Quinoa Flake the Same?
Quinoa and quinoa flakes are not the same. The difference is how they are processed. Quinoa is the whole seed, whereas the quinoa flakes have been made using a specific machine. I like to describe quinoa flakes as the rolled oats version quinoa. Essentially, to make quinoa flakes they just take the whole quinoa seed and then flatten them into flakes using a grain flaker.
Where Can I Find Quinoa Flakes?
This is the question I get most often. Quinoa flakes can be hard to find, especially if you live in a place that doesn't have a lot of grocery stores or natural health markets. So let's talk about the two places where you can find quinoa flakes!
1. At the supermarket.
When you're looking for quinoa flakes in the supermarket, head to either the cereal aisle, the gluten-free aisle or the baking aisle. If you have a Whole Foods near you, they'll be in the cereal aisle.
The box is pretty unmistakable, but the name might throw you off. I almost always see Ancient Harvest in stores, so keep your eyes peeled for a box that looks like this – turquoise, medium-sized and says, “hot cereal flakes” on the front.
If you can't find quinoa flakes at your local grocery or health food store, you can always find them online. Depending on where you live, I recommend Amazon. They always have them in stock, they sell Ancient Harvest, as well as two other brands I love: Shiloh Farms and I Heart Keenwah (which are actually toasted).
And don't forget, if you're signed up for prime, they'll be shipped to your door in two days. I also think buying them in bulk, like with this 3-pack is the way to go – it will end up saving you a few dollars per box!
Can Quinoa Flakes be Substituted for Oats?
This is a tricky one because it really depends on what recipe you're making. If you're going with something basic – like hot cereal – you can use quick oats to replace the quinoa flakes. If the quinoa flakes are being used for structure or texture, you're going to have to play around a little bit. I know that might not sound like the best suggestion, but there isn't anything else that behaves exactly like quinoa flakes, so just like anything else it can be a trial and error period 🙂 I'll make some suggestions with the recipes that I share below.
Can Quinoa Flakes be Eaten Raw?
Sure! Quinoa flakes can definitely be eaten raw, but honestly without flavor add-ins, I don't think they'd taste all that great. Since quinoa flakes are made from the whole quinoa seed, it's essentially the same as eating raw quinoa.
As you'll see below in the recipe section, there are a few ways that I use quinoa flakes raw. I make them into overnight “oats”, as well as no bake cookies, but I'm flavoring them with things like fruit, sweeteners, and chocolate. So while yes, you can definitely eat quinoa flakes raw, I definitely recommend using them in recipes with lots of flavors.
How to Use Quinoa Flakes
And now to the fun part: RECIPES! Just to show you how versatile quinoa flakes can be, I've pulled together a bunch of my favorite ways to use them.
1. Quinoa Flake Porridge
Why it works: quinoa flakes cook in under 90 seconds and make the most amazing, creamy hot cereals. They have a smoother texture than oats – almost like a cross between cream of wheat and oatmeal, but have a mild flavor so you can really jazz them up however you please.
Quinoa flake porridge recipes:
2. Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
Why it works: quinoa flakes give breakfast cookies a nice kick of protein without compromising the flavor or texture. I love adding them to my cookies because they make them light and fluffy, while locking in all the amazing nutrients that quinoa has.
Quinoa breakfast cookies to try:
- Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
- Zucchini Bread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
- Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
- Gingerbread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies (pictured)
p.s. want even more breakfast cookie recipes? Check out our NEW Healthy Breakfast Cookie Cookbook!
3. Gluten-Free Granola
Why it works: this is one of my favorite ways to use quinoa flakes because of how crunchy and clustery it makes the granola. Because quinoa flakes are softer and more delicate than oats, they help to bring together ingredients and create gorgeous granola clusters.
Quinoa Flake Granola Recipes to try:
- Oatmeal Cookie Quinoa Granola
- Coconut Oil Quinoa Granola
- Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Granola (pictured)
- Honey Blueberry Quinoa Granola
4. Overnight Quinoa
Why it works: unlike oats, quinoa flakes are much softer and end up getting even more tender when they sit overnight. They can be a little bitter though, so I like to combine them with oats and some sweeteners or fruit. They also add extra protein to your morning meal which is always a plus!
Overnight quinoa recipes to try:
- Apple Pie Overnight Quinoa (pictured)
- Mango Overnight Quinoa Parfait
- Strawberry + Coconut Overnight Oats
- High Protein Chia Pudding
5. No-Bake Desserts & Snacks
Why it works: quinoa flakes act not only as a binder, but they also lighten up no-bake treats. I sometimes feel like no-bake treats can be very nut-heavy and too much for me, that's why I love adding in quinoa flakes. They add texture without compromising taste or flavor!
Healthy no-bake dessert & snack recipes:
- No-Bake Chocolate Quinoa Cookies (pictured)
- No-Bake Raspberry Quinoa Cookies
- Muesli + Quinoa Energy Bites
6. Granola Bars
Why it works: just like with granola, I love swapping out some of the oats in granola bars which makes them a little softer, but also adds lots more nutrients. You can do this with both no-bake granola bars and also the baked variety!
Easy quinoa granola bar recipes to try:
- 5-ingredient Quinoa Granola Bars
- Almond + Coconut Quinoa Granola Bars (pictured)
- Crispy Quinoa Granola Bars
7. Fruit Crisps + Crumbles
Why it works: another recipe where we tend to use oats, quinoa flakes are a great substitution (or addition) to a crisp/crumble topping. It helps create lovely little clusters of crunchy goodness on top of bubbly fruit or berries.
Healthy fruit crisps and/or crumbles to try:
8. Quinoa Pancakes
Why it works: because quinoa flakes are so light and fluffy, they're a great ingredient to add to your morning pancakes to make them extra healthy and delicious. I almost always add some, even if just a sprinkle, since I notice my pancakes get much moister and fluffy.
Easy quinoa pancake recipes to try:
- Vegan Cinnamon Oatmeal Quinoa Pancakes (pictured)
- Simple Banana Pancakes
- Banana Buckwheat Quinoa Pancakes
9. Quinoa Muffins, Scones and Other Baked Goods
Why it works: you might be noticing a theme here – quinoa flakes go well in most baked goods. Muffins and scones happen to be one of my favorites though. I really love hearty muffins, but adding rolled oats can sometimes weigh them down. That's where quinoa flakes come in. They add just a hint of texture, while not making the muffins (or scones) heavy or gummy.
Healthy quinoa muffin recipes to try:
- Spiced Coconut Yogurt Quinoa Muffins (pictured)
- Skinny Pumpkin Muffins
- Butternut Squash + Sage Scones (from my breakfast cookbook)
10. Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Why it works: this isn't something I have done frequently, but my recipes for peanut butter quinoa crackers is amazing. They're super easy to make, the quinoa flakes make them a hearty and more protein-rich snack and it doesn't feel like you're biting into something with actual flakes (like oatmeal).
Healthy veggie burger recipes: