Some Info about Quinoa
There are different benefits and good things to mention about quinoa and the way it could substitute different things people eat on a daily basis, but it is important to go back behind the background of quinoa and know what exactly this seed is. Although it is considered a seed, quinoa is always regarded as a grain which is usually grown for its edible seeds, and it first originated in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile, but you could almost find them anywhere in the world at this point. There are different things that people should know about quinoa which include how they should be cooked, what exactly they are, and whether they are considered truly healthy for the person eating them or not.
How Do You Pronounce Quinoa?
It is not only about the different benefits, side effects, as well as the other nutrients that this seed or grain could deliver, but there are different important things that people should learn which are related to the basics. A lot of people are still pronouncing the word “Quinoa” wrongly and this is the main reason why we decided to shed the lights on this issue before going deeper into the more important things and details.
In order to pronounce it correctly, you should hear it correctly as well, so here is a good link where you could listen to the word quinoa being pronounced. In this article, we are just going to guide you through the first important rules in pronouncing this word correctly; quinoa is usually pronounced as (keen-wah), so the next time you head to the grocery store or the supermarket in order to search for it, you will need to say it in the right way as well.
Is Quinoa a Grain?
Quinoa is a seed but it has been always considered a grain and this caused a lot of overlapping in the kind of information being registered inside the human brain. Is quinoa paleo? Is quinoa a grain? Is quinoa gluten free? All these are different questions that are usually linked to quinoa whenever people get introduced to it and try to search deeper for different information related to the things it could serve them with.
At the beginning, we should mention that quinoa is a seed that is harvested from a species of a plant known as goosefeet, and this means that it is officially a seed and even part of a group of pseudo-cereals that is closer to spinach. This means that quinoa is not a grain neither a cereal; it is just the way people tend to perceive it that makes it famous as a specific type of food.
To make it clearer, quinoa will usually differ from one person to another and the way each of them accepts it, but it is usually the same at the end; quinoa is not paleo but it is definitely a gluten free seed that people could use. Quinoa is not considered paleo because there are different reasons people should avoid it for, such as the different digestive problems it might cause as well as its content of carbohydrate.
If you are following a paleo diet, you should then avoid quinoa not because it might be dangerous, but mainly because a lot of people might not handle the effects it might deliver to them. Quinoa is usually avoided in the paleo diet because they contain saponins and lectins, as well as other anti-nutrients.
How to Cook Quinoa?
The process of cooking quinoa should be done by following different steps because they are different than some of the other seeds which you might use or cook without having to rinse them with some water for example. The different steps related to cooking quinoa are:
- Rinsing the Seeds with Water
Before cooking quinoa, you should first check whether it should be rinsed with water or not, which it will most probably be in need for this step. Rinsing the seeds is important because quinoa usually comes coated with a layer that is bitter in its taste which is called saponin and which is mainly used for protecting the seeds, but it could still be easily removed. In order to rinse the seeds, you have to place them in a fine-mesh sieve, place them under cold water, rub them between your both hands, and then shake the sieve to remove any excess water; they will be ready after this process.
We are telling you to check whether the seeds need to be washed or not because most of those which you are buying from the supermarkets are sold in their packages pre-rinsed, but repeating the process one more time will never harm you. You could taste one seed only in order to know whether it needs rinsing or not because this will appear from the bitter taste that you are going to receive.
- Toast the Seeds
Quinoa goes through this step in order to get better with its taste. In order to toast the quinoa, you will need a skillet and a little bit of neutral oil (one tablespoon for every 1 ½ cups of quinoa). You will need to place those seeds over medium-low heat and keep stirring them constantly in order not to burn, and after 6 or 8 minutes when the seeds start to turn brown in color, you will need to take them off the heat. This toasting thing will give the seeds a nuttier flavor and should be always done before putting the seeds in water in order to boil.
- Cook in Something besides Water
Although a lot of people go for the water choice, it is important to mention that quinoa could be also cooked in other liquids as well. The ratio that is used for adding water or that other liquid, which you have chosen, is two cups of the liquid with every one cup of quinoa used. From the different choices that you could go for include chicken broth, as well as mushroom or vegetable broth, which are easy to be prepared and at the same time will add a lot of flavor to quinoa. Although this is considered a good suggestion in order to change, water is considered the healthiest because it is the lowest with its sodium content, the easiest to get, as well as the easiest to prepare.
- Keep Watching the Quinoa
One of the things that make quinoa a good choice to substitute things like rice and paste is that in addition to its health benefits, it could also be prepared in a very short period of time. Quinoa cooks quickly and that is why it is important to watch it all the time in order not to burn, it usually takes 15 minutes only. Some of the directions attached to the packages of quinoa will tell you to turn off the heat once the water starts to boil, but it is better to bring the liquid to a boil, stir in the quinoa, turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer gently, and let the whole thing cook for about 15 minutes before removing it from the heat.
One of the different signs that will tell you that the quinoa is ready and could be eaten is that the seeds will pop open and will reveal the germ of the kernel.
- Finally, Don’t Forget to Fluff the Quinoa
The final step to go through in this cooking process is fluffing the quinoa before serving it. In order to serve a dish that is big and fulfilling, you will need to fluff the seeds by using a fork in order to separate them from one another, since through the cooking process they might mingle together and thus will need a little bit of pampering from your side.
These are all the different steps that quinoa should go through when it comes to cooking it, so never forget about any of them or decide to follow your own rules.
Is Quinoa Healthy?
A lot of people ask whether quinoa is considered healthy or not due to the different side effects which they have heard about before. There are some quinoa nutrition facts which will tell you that this seed is healthy only when you know when to eat it, when to avoid it and how much you are allowed to take from it.
- Quinoa is complete with all the nine essential amino acids needed by the body and thus considered the most food rich with proteins.
- Quinoa has a good amount of fiber which carries different benefits, such as relieving constipation, helping with weight loss, as well as preventing heart disease and lowering the levels of glucose and cholesterol.
- Quinoa contains iron which helps in the function of the brain and also keeps the red blood cells healthy and is considered the basis of hemoglobin formation.
- Quinoa contains lysine which is important for the tissue growth and repair.
- Quinoa is rich in magnesium which is important for reducing type-2 diabetes, relaxing the blood vessels, and regulating the body temperature; that is of course in addition to other different benefits as well.
- Quinoa is also rich in manganese which is needed for protecting the red blood cells and other cells from free radicals.
- Quinoa is rich with riboflavin which is important for improving energy metabolism within the brain and muscles cells and thus produces proper energy.
To sum it all up, we have to say that quinoa is definitely a seed and not a grain, it could be used in order to substitute rice and pasta in a more healthier way but through following some important steps when it comes to its cooking process, and it is considered healthy in so many different ways due to the different nutrients that it carries and which in turn have their own effects on the function of the body. So definitely quinoa is a seed to depend on but one which you should also pay attention to the different side effects that it could deliver to your body, because people usually react to chia seeds in a different kind of way.