I have been talking a lot about healthy choices and how to fit more whole grains into your diet. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention and include some recipes featuring the super food Quinoa. I thought I would take some time today and give some background and tips on the hippest grain of all. This is great preparation for those of you who are new to quinoa and will get you ready to buy some, have it at home and bake with it!
What Is Quinoa?
* Often called a whole grain- it is actually a seed!
* Can be prepared like rice or barley
* Cooks quicker than other grains, in 10-15 min
* Provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein
* Gluten free
* Good for sweet recipes too! A good substitute for oatmeal
* An excellent source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.
In general most recipes using quinoa all use the same basic cooking method. You can cook the quinoa seeds like you would rice. Cover the seeds in water or broth and boil until soft and fluffy. In a rice cooker use 1 part quinoa and 2 parts liquid.
*Note* The seeds have a bitter coating, that must be soaked off before preparing. Packaged quinoa has likely been pre-soaked, but be sure to read the fine print before cooking. Soak 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water for 5-10 minutes (to dissolve any remaining bitter coating).
According to CalorieCount, 1/3 cup of cooked seeds has 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Not only is the seed full of healthy protein, fat and fiber it tastes great too.
In the most simple iteration you can flavor the cooked seeds with a little olive oil, some salt, pepper and lemon juice. This tasty dish is a perfect quick side dish any night. On the table in under 20 minutes. You can’t beat that on a busy weeknight, wouldn’t you say?
Quinoa also makes a fantastic breakfast. Prepare as specified above, but use water as the cooking liquid not broth. To serve flavor with any combination of maple syrup, cinnamon, milk, butter, or fruit!
Quinoa and Bread
Now that we know how to cook the super seed, how are we going to use it in bread? First, if you are looking at using up some leftovers you could substitute all or some of the oatmeal in my Creamy Oatmeal Bread. It will also lend a creamy texture to the final product, but the bread will have a nuttier flavor. This is a great choice and one of my favorite breads ever. The cooked grains, either oatmeal or quinoa create such a lush texture to the bread it’s unlike any bread you have before, especially store bough bread with can be crunchy (a.k.a. stale).
In the coming posts and episodes we will take a journey down quinoa road, with some amazing bread and muffin recipes. Now that you know how to cook it, you can get started with confidence! I look forward to sharing recipes including this super seed with you! Stay tuned!
Both of these are great options if you are in the market for quinoa. I love Bob’s Red Mill and always prefer organic when possible.
Thank you for reading today! I hope you enjoyed my primer on the super seed quinoa(click to hear pronunciation). If you found today’s post interesting and helpful, and know someone who could benefit from step by step videos on baking with whole grains, please share this with them today!