Quinoa or quinoa is a food that has gained a lot of popularity for some time, mainly due to its great properties and benefits. One of the best advantages of quinoa is that it can be used in multiple recipes thanks to its versatility and flavor that can be adapted to many others and can be used with different dishes.
If you still don’t know what quinoa is, this is a kind of seed, although it is sometimes mistaken for a cereal. It has the same properties as a cereal and therefore gives the confusion, they are similar but quinoa falls within the definition of pseudocereal.
Properties provided by quinoa
Quinoa as a food contains many properties that are ideal for people, for this reason, knowing what all these properties are is good when it comes to expanding your menu and consuming much healthier foods.
The main property of quinoa is to be considered the only plant food that contains all the essential vitamins and amino acids for people. Its nutritional values include a high content of kilocalories (healthy calories), proteins, carbohydrates and to a lesser extent, fats. Likewise, it has small proportions of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Another of the outstanding properties of quinoa is having Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids, folic acid and very good amounts of fiber.
Due to all that it contributes, quinoa is highly recommended for athletes, growing children, pregnant women and people with intestinal problems. It is also an excellent option for people who are starting a diet or are vegetarians, since it can perfectly substitute many properties that meat provides.
It even has such a low glycemic content that it can be consumed by people with diabetes without being a problem; In addition, it does not contain gluten, so it is perfectly suited to the menu of a celiac person.
For all these properties, quinoa has been considered a super food since 2013 , therefore, knowing the best ways to prepare it is a good alternative for anyone.
Types of quinoa
Before investigating some recipes for cooking quinoa, it is necessary to bear in mind that there are several varieties of this food that may have different flavors or characteristics. The types of quinoa that can be found are 3: white quinoa, red quinoa and black quinoa; below you can learn a little more about each one.
This type of quinoa is the most popular; It stands out for being soft and very fluffy in texture, as well as having a very light and not heavy flavor. This quinoa adapts much better to various types of dishes and is very versatile.
It also stands out for having the least amount of calories and providing vitamins, minerals and proteins.
Unlike white quinoa, red quinoa has a much more intense flavor that is compared to that of walnut. It is usually prepared in salads or with fruits more than everything.
Its nutritional value is the highest among the three varieties, in addition, it has a high content of folic acid and contains much more fiber and carbohydrates than white and black quinoa, which is why it is perfect for the diet of athletes.
This stands out for being a hybrid species, obtained by crossing quinoa and spinach seeds . It has a larger structure and is crunchier, as well as having a much sweeter flavor. Among its properties, the presence of lithium and antioxidants stand out, thanks to which it is attributed anti-inflammatory and healing abilities .
This type of quinoa is also recommended to regulate stress and the nervous system, working almost as a painkiller for the body.
Cook the quinoa correctly
Quinoa requires cooking in a simple and similar way to other foods before being used in other recipes; the process is generally easy and requires no more than a few steps.
- The first thing to do is wash the quinoa, you must make sure to wash it correctly since it contains saponins that make it bitter when cooked. The best way to wash it is to place it in a colander under the tap and proceed to rinse it 2 to 3 times.
- As soon as all the foam that appears when you start washing it is removed, it is time to cook the quinoa in boiling water. The most recommended is around 15 minutes of cooking, checking that it is not too soft when removing it.
- You must proceed to drain it and then let it cool down or prepare it with another food of your choice.
Tricks to cook quinoa better
There are some tricks that must be linked to the quinoa cooking process so that you can get the best results.
- The main thing is its washing, where the intention is to eliminate the saponins; These are molecules that have properties similar to those of soap, for this reason they create foam when the quinoa is washed and it is recommended to rub them to remove them completely.
- Regarding cooking, proportional amounts of water should be added, 2 parts of water for every 1 of quinoa.
- When it is cooking, it is ready when it is doubled in size and becomes transparent in color; In addition, its consistency should be spongy and not pasty or soft.
- After boiling, the quinoa still retains water that must be removed; you can do it by straining it and moving it a little ; After draining, place the quinoa back in the container where you prepared it to soak in the heat for a few minutes.
- Ultimately, one of the most recommended tricks is to roast the quinoa seeds in a pan before cooking them, in this way you avoid them from getting a soft and doughy consistency. You can toast it just like you would rice, by itself or with a little oil and adding some spices such as onion, garlic or tomato (without overdoing it).
Quinoa is an excellent food that provides multiple benefits, and how to cook this wonderful food is really simple, as you may have noticed. You can expand your daily menu by including quinoa and start preparing dishes loaded with flavor and completely healthy.