Thursday, May 29, 2014
Vegan Thursday : Superfood #4: Quinoa
Quinoa is often called a grain but it is actually more of a seed. It is one of the oldest food cultivated by human kind that we know of and has been cultivated for over 5000 years. However, until not too long ago, it was not very well known... but it is gaining in popularity!
It is an important part of a vegan/vegetarian diet because it is one of the only plant based food that contains complete proteins. Almost all food we eat do contains some amino acids (building block of proteins) but rarely does plant based food contains all of them. To insure sufficient intake of protein (which is really not hard to obtain) vegetarians and vegans make sure to have a variety of food in their diet and also rely on quinoa.
Quinoa is not very expensive. And a small amount can actually fill you up! One cup of cooked quinoa contains only 220 calories, 5 grams of fibers (to insure regular bowel movement), 8g or proteins and, based on a 2000 calories diet, quinoa provides 6-8% or you required carbohydrates. The carbohydrates contained in quinoa are mostly starch which digest slowly and insure a constant glucose flow to your bloodstream (glucose is required by all our cells - especially the brain cells which can only feed on glucose). It also contains 8g of calcium (which is the amount in a cup of milk), iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and a little omega-3. It is very low in sugar (only 1%) and contains no cholesterol and saturated fats.
I keep my quinoa in a glass jar in the fridge to prevent it from going rancid (basically like nuts). Some recommend rinsing it before cooking because of it high content in saponin (which is not toxic but foamy), I personally don't do it.
There are several ways to use quinoa... it can be used in place of rice or couscous in meals, soups and salads. You can also have it for breakfast instead of oatmeal!
For more ways to use quinoa, you can refer to my Minimalist Veganism ebook.
If you want quick access to a free recipe, you can try this quinoa soup... which is also mine!
Here's a picture of the soup...
Hope you'll get started using quinoa if you haven't already... or will try one of my recipes!
As a breakfast it is AMAZING!!!
p.s. it is also gluten free!!!
thanks for reading!
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