Quinoa is frequently mistaken as a gluten-free grain, although it’s actually immensely nutritious vegetable seed. It is a vegetable associated to beets which offers extremely rare complete protein sourced from vegetables with all nine essential amino acids.
Beans and rice are regarded as complete proteins since only when consumed together are offering all nine essential amino acids.
Larger number of grains lack the isoleucine and lysine amino acids, and need to be consumed with a legume in order to be complete. Quinoa is a high-fiber, low-fat, low-glycemix index, high-protein, mineral-, vitamin-, and nutrient- packed seed.
Although quinoa is practically not a grain, it has been known as “the mother of all grains”, or “chisaya mama”. It thrives during drought conditions and long hot summer days, when its harvest doubles and all other plants weaken.
This protein rich food is harvested before the arrival of the cold months when more fats and proteins are needed.
Quinoa contains much more fat than grasses like wheat, although it’s regarded as low-fat protein source.
Its content includes significant quantity of oleic acid that is a monosaturated fat beneficial for the heart health found in olive oil, as well as some alpha-linolenic acid which is an omega-3 fatty acid beneficial for the heart health.
You may be surprised, but these good fats don’t become oxidized, or they remain stable when cooked, unlike most other fats.
According to researchers, this accounts on the high antioxidant levels in quinoa. It contains high amounts of alpha, beta, and gamma forms of polyphenols, vitamin E, and flavonoids such as quercetin which enlarge its shelf life and simultaneously provides protection of the seed from rancidity when heated.
Besides being an alternative to high-protein grains, quinoa’s current popularity is probably because of its effects on blood sugar. Since it is a low-glycemic food, quinoa provokes little blood sugar stress on our body, and since it’s high in fiber, it slows down the other sugar’s absorption from the digestive tract in the bloodstream. According to one study, quinoa proved to be more beneficial that ten other Peruvian grains regarding its influence on the blood sugar and weight.
According to the Satiating Efficiency Index (SEI), besides keeping healthy levels of blood sugar, quinoa provided more satiety, satisfaction, and fullness after the meal in comparison with rice or wheat. Moreover, its content is high in magnesium that supports healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Quinoa needs to be regarded as a staple in the everyday fall and winter diet, due to is anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and content rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, vegetarian “complete protein”, and heart-healthy fats.
Cooking Instructions for Quinoa
The skin of quinoa seed is a little bitter, so wash it away, using a fine strainer. Add one cup of quinoa in two cups of water and bring to a boil. After that, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. After that, strain the quinoa seeds once again through the fine strainer.
The strained quinoa should be returned to a warm pot for 15 minutes without heat. In this way, you will get light and fluffy quinoa, rather than clumpy and wet one.