General Things You Should Know about Quinoa
Quinoa is one of the seeds that could be cooked and used in different ways and could manage to deliver several benefits to your body, but there are different things you should know about quinoa in general whether related to how it should be prepared and cooked, what the nutrients it could deliver to the body are, or even what the other uses it could help with in general are. If you are one of those who appreciate a healthy lifestyle then you should keep reading this article to know what the healthy seeds of quinoa could manage to provide your body with and what they are in general.
Preparing quinoa, cooking quinoa, knowing more about the benefits quinoa could deliver to the body, are all different things that people first ask about when it comes to this seed, but there are different other things which are also considered important to know generally, even if they will be nothing but a couple of information pieces which are left there in the back of your head.
What You Should Know about Quinoa
This seed which appeared years and years back and which is sometimes even perceived as a grain is one of the different seeds that could manage to provide the body with different benefits and could be even cooked and prepared in different ways. Quinoa will give the body its needs and will help it fight some diseases and even lose weight, so these benefits will always give you the excitement you might need to search deeper behind it.
Generally speaking, there are some important pieces of information which you should be well aware of when it comes to quinoa especially if you are going to make it part of your healthy routine and will give it the chance to have its place in your kitchen. These general important information include:
- Quinoa Needs Washing
For some people this might sound weird because they never heard about the importance of washing any seeds before using them, but when it comes to quinoa, it is important to mention that washing those seeds is an important step to go through. Washing quinoa seeds is important because it usually comes coated with a layer known as saponin which is usually there to protect the seeds from any insects. This coat gives the seeds a bitter taste and that is why it is important to wash them before starting the cooking phase.
To wash the seeds, all you have to do is place them in a fine mesh strainer, put them under water for a couple of seconds and at the same time use your hands to help in the washing process, and then bring them from under the water.
- Quinoa Comes in Different Colors and Forms
You might be familiar with one color of quinoa only, that one which you are always able to find in the supermarkets and grocery stores, but actually there are different colors and forms of quinoa found out there which you could use and which you could get introduced to. There are a lot of colors for quinoa, but those which are most widely known and those which you will easily find in the supermarkets are the white, the black, as well as the red and these are the ones which you will most probably use in your recipes. In addition to the colors and the varieties of quinoa found out there, there are also different forms for this seed; quinoa could be puffed or rolled into flakes and it could also come whole.
- Quinoa is Gluten Free
For those who are gluten intolerant, quinoa is now an option which they could try and go for because it is gluten free and thus they will not suffer from any side effects after eating it or after adding it to any of the meals they are going to prepare. Even though quinoa is considered gluten free, it still carries “gluten like” protein that can mimic proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. The problem is that according to some researches done on the effects that this gluten like protein could cause, it was found that those who are intolerant to gluten could suffer from the same problems.
This is not always the same with people, so it is important to try first with small quantities and then go further with it if you realized that there aren’t any side effects you are suffering from.
- Quinoa is a Seed and not a Grain
Even though it is referred to as a super grain, quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain and is not even in the grass family. Quinoa comes among the family of Chenopodiaceae, but when it is prepared for eating, the seeds pass as a grain substitute to an extent that makes quinoa always known as a pseudo-cereal. The initial information you might receive about quinoa are considered the ones not to be true and that is the reason why it is always important to search deep behind these information you carry in order to know the right from the wrong and know the truth behind quinoa seeds.
- Quinoa was Sacred to the Ancient Incas
Quinoa appeared a very long time ago, since the days of the ancient Incas and from that time, those Incas considered it sacred and even referred to it as the “mother grain”. Since it was considered a sacred seed for the Incas, the way they used to cultivate the seeds was also different; the emperor would sow the first seeds using a golden ceremonial spade. The Incas used to cultivate quinoa in the high altitudes in the Andes, and until this very moment, some of the best quality quinoa seeds come from these high elevations.
Because quinoa was considered sacred back in those days, the Spanish banned it and forced the Incas to grow other European crops like wheat. The Spanish colonists dismissed this seed as the “food for Indians”.
- Quinoa Benefits is in its Nutrients
Quinoa seeds deliver different benefits for the human body and these benefits usually come from the nutrients and minerals which they carry. Quinoa is high in protein; in fact, quinoa protein is one of the few plant-based sources of protein that carries all the amino acids that the body could not produce on its own; the nine essential amino acids. In addition to the protein, quinoa is also high in iron, vitamin B-6, magnesium, fiber, copper, thiamin, phosphorus, manganese, and folate and every single one of these carries some benefits which the body will be waiting to receive and will give the body all its needs, making quinoa just another healthy option to go for.
- Quinoa is Cooked Quickly
This is not just a plus thing for those who are too lazy to cook a meal for the day, but it is a good option for those who are too hungry and want something tasty and easily prepared in no time. Quinoa is always better if it is cooked but before the cooking phase, it is always important to consider the washing part first. In order to cook quinoa, there are some steps to go through in order to bring the outcome that you want at the end.
You will start with adding the quinoa to water in a saucepan then you will bring this water to a boil and after a couple of minutes, you will reduce the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid and let the quinoa simmer until it is cooked correctly and thoroughly; sometimes people add a cooking sauce to give another taste to the quinoa but this is not much preferred. All these steps will usually take 20 or 25 minutes in total, which is considered an easy recipe to prepare, one that needs no time or even effort.
- Quinoa Could be Stored for a Good Period of Time
This will depend on whether the quinoa you want to store is cooked or not. If you have already cooked your quinoa and you don’t want to throw the leftover away and want to keep it, you should know that it will be kept in the refrigerator and will not live more than two days, after that it will not be considered safe to eat or consume it. On the other hand, if the quinoa you want to store is not yet cooked, you could keep it in an air tight container and leave it sealed in the refrigerator for up to six months.
This is considered good for those who buy good amounts of quinoa in order to leave it at home for whenever they want to use it instead of always having to head to the nearest supermarket to get more.
- Quinoa is Really Delicious
Even though it comes among those things which are considered healthy, quinoa is actually delicious and the different quinoa recipes which are prepared out there could be actually loved. You will never keep up with eating a specific type of food for the health benefits it could deliver if the taste is not matching your likes, and this is exactly one test that quinoa succeeded to pass because it managed to deliver some benefits for the body while being delicious at the same time, in addition to that, quinoa calories are not high which is the reason why you will never gain weight from eating quinoa but will instead manage to lose some pounds from the benefits it could deliver.
These are general important information that you should know about quinoa, whether related to its history, where it was first cultivated, or else it is related to the benefits it could deliver through the nutrients and minerals that it carries within. Quinoa is an old type of seed but one which is still found until these very days and which could be prepared and cooked through different ways and could be added to different meals. Quinoa is filled with benefits, not just those that are delivered to the body, but those which are related to its preparation and the ways it could be stored.