Have you ever wondered what quinoa is, what it tastes like, and if it’s healthy? If you have, then look no further! Here are the answers to all your quinoa questions, and 15 recipes to get you started cooking with this awesome ingredient.
Quinoa has become such a popular ingredient in the last few years. It used to be a mostly unheard-of ingredient in America, but now you can find it on the shelves of every grocery store. It’s even featured in recipes at a lot of restaurants! Suddenly it’s one of the hottest ingredients around.
I love quinoa, so it’s easy for me to see why it’s exploded in popularity. It’s a super affordable ingredient with a ton of different health benefits. It works in a million different recipes and is a great replacement for rice.
It’s one of my go-to ingredients, which you probably were able to figure out from the name of the blog! And I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite quinoa recipes. They’re all healthy, easy to cook, and utterly delicious. I think you’ll like them as much as I do!
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa seems like it should be a grain, but it’s actually a dried seed. The quinoa plant is native to South America, and the seeds from it are harvested, dried, and then cooked by people like you and me!
What Does it Taste Like?
The flavor of quinoa is mild and pretty similar to brown rice. I like it because it tastes earthy and a little bit nutty. One great thing about quinoa is that absorbs a ton of flavor when you’re cooking, so you can really make it tasty. Here are 6 of my favorite ways to season it.
Is it Healthy?
I eat quinoa almost every day, because it’s just as healthy as it is delicious. Don’t believe me? Check out the nutritional data for a cup of cooked quinoa!
Nutritional Info for Quinoa:
- Calories – 222
- Total fat – 4 g
- Total carbs – 33 g
- Dietary fiber – 5 g
- Sugars – 0 g
- Protein – 8 g
Quinoa Vitamins and Minerals:
- Vitamin E – 6% of the daily value
- Thiamin – 13%
- Iron – 15%
- Magnesium – 30%
- Phosphorus – 28%
- Zinc – 13%
- Copper – 18%
- Manganese – 58%
Is it Gluten-Free?
Another reason that I love quinoa is that it’s gluten-free. I like to use it as a substitute for grains! In fact, I use quinoa flour a lot of times in place of all-purpose flour. It’s a great way to make gluten-free baked goods.
Does it Have Protein?
Yes! Quinoa has a good amount of protein. That’s part of why I’m a big fan of eating quinoa in place of meat. A cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein, but that’s not even the best part. Because quinoa is packed with different amino acids, it’s considered a nearly complete protein!
Is it Healthier than Rice?
I almost always opt for quinoa instead of rice because of the health benefits. Quinoa is a little bit healthier than brown rice and a lot healthier than white rice. Most importantly, quinoa just has a lot more protein and fiber than rice does.
How to Store Quinoa
Don’t worry, dried quinoa is so easy to store! The only thing you have to do is keep it out of direct sunlight, and sealed in an airtight container or bag. As long as you do that, it will last for 2-3 years before it expires! Cooked quinoa also lasts a pretty long time. If you store it in an airtight container in the fridge, it will last for a week. I love to make a big batch of it on Sunday so that I have quinoa for all my meals throughout the week.
Do You Have to Wash it?
Here’s another reason to eat quinoa instead of rice: you don’t need to wash it! Unlike rice, quinoa doesn’t have any starch that needs to be washed off. Plus, it’s clean! You do have to cook quinoa with the right amount of water though, so check out my guide for finding the right quinoa-to-liquid ratio.
Is Quinoa a Superfood?
Yep! Quinoa is generally considered a superfood because of the large number of nutrients and vitamins combined with the low number of calories. It’s a great combination!
Healthy Quinoa Recipes to Try
Sure, quinoa is super healthy, but it’s also fabulous tasting! And to top it all off, it’s easy to cook with, too! Here are a few of my favorite healthy quinoa recipes to get you started with this awesome ingredient.
How to Cook Quinoa
Vanilla Almond Overnight Quinoa
10-Minute Quinoa Fried Rice with Vegetables
The Ultimate Superfood Quinoa Porridge
Healthy Quinoa Bowls: 6 Delicious Ways
Wild Rice Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Lemon-Turmeric Vinaigrette
Herbed Spring Quinoa Salad
Creamy Vegan Broccoli Quinoa Salad
Summer Squash and Zucchini Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts
Quinoa Pad Thai Salad
The BEST Quinoa Pizza Crust
Winter Quinoa Buddha Bowls
Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Need More Quinoa Recipes?
Hopefully you enjoyed these healthy quinoa dishes. If you need more, make sure to check out my recipe page, where you can search for all of my quinoa recipes.