100g of cooked quinoa has 370 calories
and 65g of carbohydrates. For all that
it's a tiny grain, quinoa seeds contain
essential amino acids such as lysine,
as well as quantities of calcium (5%),
Nutritional informationphosphorus (65%), Magnesium (55%),
zinc (33%) and iron (35%). There's 28%
fibre, 25% vitamin B-6, 6g fat and zero
cholesterol, Percentages are based on a
normal healthy 2,000-calorie diet.
amino acids. It has been recognised by
the United Nations as a 'supercrop' for its
health benefits as it's packed with dietary
fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Its even been called a 'perfect' ingredient.
Quinoa lacks gluten, so it's great
for those with coeliac disease and also
vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as any
one else's. It's also naturally low in fat.
One cup of cooked quinoa provides 3.4
grams of fat and is generally considered
easy to digest.
The Incas considered the crop to be
sacred and it was they who referred to it
as the 'mother of all grains'. Quinoa has
become increasingly popular in the United
States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China
and Japan where it is not typically grown.
That's meant that the crop value between
2006 and early 2013 tripled. That does
not make it an expensive option, but it
will be more expensive to buy than rice or
potatoes, by weight.
The name quinoa is thought to have
come from the Spanish spelling of the
native name, pre-Columbian word for it,
kinwa. Before being treated, the seeds
have a bitter-tasting coating. After harvest,
the seeds are processed to remove the
coating then the seeds are cooked the
same way as rice and can be used in a
wide range of dishes.
Quinoa is a versatile ingredient great
in stuffings in pilafs as a substitute for rice
and can even be used in breakfast cereals
or puddings. It's easy to prepare and has
a fluffy texture and slightly nutty flavor.
When cooked, it quadruples in size and
become almost translucent.
As the image opposite shows, quinoa
comes in several varieties. White quinoa
is the most common and has a very mild
flavor that makes it suitable in a variety
of recipes. Red quinoa has a crunchy
texture and stronger flavor and needs a
longer cooking time. Black quinoa is very
crunchy when cooked and also has the
strongest flavor. Quinoa glycemic index is
relatively low so this food is much safer
alternative for diabetics. The GI rating for
quinoa means that it offers more stable
energy than items like corn or potatoes.
The relatively low GI means that
quinoa is unlikely to give your blood sugar
spikes, making it a much safer alternative
for people with diabetes to consume
compared to most simple grains.
According to med-health.net quinoa's
high magnesium content can help to cut
down on the risk of hypertension. Because
quinoa is very high in protein and dietary
fibre, one serving can make you feel quite
full so you are less likely to binge on other
foods. Quinoa is also low in calories so
you can eat two or three servings and still
consume fewer calories than you were to
eat, say, a serving of pasta.