Five reasons to try quinoa
If you’ve read the word “quinoa” on menus but have no idea what it is or how to say it (it’s pronounced “keen-wah”), read on. This superfood is taking the world by storm, so be inspired to make it part of your diet today.
- Highly nutritious:
This ancient grain-like seed contains more protein than any other grain, so it’s terrific for vegetarians. It’s also high in fibre, low-GI, a good source of iron, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E.
- Gluten-free and easy to digest:
This is why coeliacs and wheat-averse people have embraced quinoa wholeheartedly. It may be more expensive than pasta, rice or couscous but it swells to four times its size once cooked – one cup of raw quinoa serves four people.
- An interesting consistency and flavour
It’s slightly nutty to taste and has a creamy, fluffy texture.
- Easy to cook
Quinoa is one of those fabulous no-fuss foods that’s quick to prepare and works with a whole host of ingredients, as you’ll see in the recipe ideas below. To cook, rinse well in a fine sieve, cover and simmer in a saucepan with one part quinoa, two parts water, stock milk or juice for about 10 minutes. Allow it to rest for five minute then fluff with a fork like you would couscous. Dead easy.
- A versatile ingredient
When using it in recipes, treat it like you would rice or couscous. Here are a few tasty ideas:
- Cook it in milk, then mix with cinnamon, brown sugar, pistachios and dried apricots for a porridge-like breakfast dish.
- Cook it in water and 1 tbsp of tomato paste, and serve with baked cauliflower, bocconcini and chives for a simple veggie starter.
- Cook it in chicken stock, Middle Eastern spices like cumin and turmeric, and stir through sliced roasted chicken, coriander and broccoli for an exotic main.
Superfoods certainly come and go like all food fads, but our bets are on this ingredient becoming a pantry staple sooner rather than later.