All About Quinoa


What is quinoa and why is it so popular?  Let us shed some light on this super grain by introducing you to its versatility and many health benefits. Try some of our delicious recipes and see for yourself - join the quinoa revolution!

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an ancient nutritious grain that has gained popularity in North America. Called “the mother grain” by the Ancient Inca civilization, this super grain earned this status due to its many health benefits. Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids that humans need to eat. Compared to other grains, it is also high in saturated fats and fibre and low in carbohydrates.

  • Characteristics
    • Quinoa is technically a seed and not a grain. It is also naturally gluten-free and, when cooked, expands up to 4 times its size.  
    • Quinoa has a very mild flavour and therefore will take on the flavours of the recipe it is in. In this way, it is similar to rice and can often be used as a substitution for rice in recipes.  
    • The outer hull of quinoa contains a bitter resin called saponin. Quinoa must be rinsed thoroughly before cooking in order to remove this bitter coating although some brands have already removed the outer hull for you. 
  • Types
    • White – By far the most popular type and most readily available. White quinoa is so versatile, it has been used in appetizers, as a breakfast porridge, side dishes, mains and even dessert. 
    • Red – Is mainly used in savoury dishes because it has a nuttier taste than white quinoa. It also has a crunchier texture and holds it shape better once cooked so is a great choice for salads and main dishes. 
    • Black – Is not as readily available. On the rare occasion that you can find it, it is similar to red quinoa. It holds its shape and colour and also has a nutty flavour and crunchy texture. It is best used in salads and mains. 
    • Tri-Coloured – Is a combination of all 3 colours. This unique blend is a great choice for savoury dishes and salads. 
  • Other
    • Quinoa Flour – A gluten-free flour that is best used in baking. The high protein in quinoa provides enough structure so that the addition of gums or other proteins may not be necessary. 
    • Quinoa Flakes – Are quinoa seeds that have been pressed flat, similar to rolled oats. These flakes make a great breakfast cereal because they are high in protein and fibre and low in carbohydrates and fat. They also cook very quickly. 
    • Quinoa Puffs – Are whole quinoa that has been puffed, similar to puffed wheat or rice crisp cereal. These puffs can be used as a cereal, for added crunch as toppings on salads, casseroles or coatings.   

Try These:

  • Medium
    Quinoa Porridge
  • Easy
    Greek Quinoa Salad
  • Medium
    Quinoa Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches