One of the world’s most popular superfoods, quinoa is a staple for health fanatics and has made its way into mainstream diets. It’s packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals, and is the perfect alternative for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to eat gluten. It’s easy to cook and to cook with, allowing you to whip up extremely versatile plates! From nutritious breakfasts to hearty dinners and yummy snacks, you’re going to love this round up of delicious quinoa recipes!
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a gluten-free, high protein, mineral-rich grain. It’s known as a super grain, and has become one of the most popular health foods of modern day. It’s a healthier alternative to white rice and pasta, so is ideal for those who are allergic to gluten or gluten intolerant. It’s also an amazing food for vegans and vegetarians as it’s a plant based protein. Although quinoa acts as a whole grain in cooking, it’s a seed from a plant called goosefoot, which is related to beets and spinach. It’s high in vitamins and minerals, as well as important antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
1. Rich in Protein and Fibre
Quinoa is an amazing source of both protein and fibre. It’s one of the only plant-based proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids, so is referred to as a complete protein. It has more and better proteins than most grains and is ideal for those who need protein from plant-based sources.
Quinoa is also very high in fibre, having almost twice as much fibre as most other grains. Fibre is known to reduce constipation, as well as prevent heart disease by lowering high blood pressure and diabetes. Fibre can also help with weight loss by increasing fullness and making you less likely to snack mindlessly.
2. Contains Iron
Iron is an important component of healthy blood and brain function. It carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles. Iron also boosts brain function as the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. Iron also helps with the regulation of body temperature, enzyme activity and energy metabolism, so is an important mineral for our bodies.
3. Weight Loss
Quinoa can aid in weight loss by boosting your metabolism and decreasing appetite. You can thank its protein content for both of these things! Its high fibre content also helps with weight loss as it makes you feel full for longer, reducing your risk of snacking and making you eat fewer calories overall. Quinoa also has a low glycemic index, which has also been linked to reduced calorie intake.
4. It Has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Quinoa can help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation in the body. It helps promote friendly bacteria in the gut, which prevents inflammation and disease. Quinoa is known to contain many anti-inflammatory nutrients including vitamin E, phenolic acids, and heart healthy omega-3 acids.
How to Cook With Quinoa
There are plenty of ways to cook with quinoa. It’s easy to make and extremely versatile, making it one of the best bases for plenty of dishes. You can use it as a substitute in your favourite rice and pasta dishes, or as the base of a healthy, filling salad or bowl. Use it in a casserole or to stuff bell peppers, in rice noodle spring rolls or as a side for your favourite salmon or chicken dish. You can also make quinoa burgers, quinoa tacos or add it to a soup. Have it for breakfast by making quinoa bites, a quinoa breakfast bowl or a quinoa scramble. As you can see, there are lots of ways to cook with quinoa. Check out our favourite recipes below!
10 Breakfast Quinoa Recipes
1. Quinoa Berry Bowl | The Food Network
2. Breakfast Quinoa with Blueberries and Bananas | 31 Daily
3. Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa | Simply Quinoa
4. Spiced Chai Breakfast Quinoa | According to Elle
5. Quinoa Banana Skillet Bake | Edible Perspective
6. Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa Smoothie Bowl | Food Faith Fitness
7. Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa | Once Upon a Cutting Board
8. Strawberry Coconut Overnight Quinoa | Simply Quinoa
9. Strawberry Quinoa Pancakes | Recipe Runner
10. Zucchini Bread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies | Simply Quinoa
10 Lunch Quinoa Recipes
1. Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime Vinaigrette | Once Upon a Chef
2. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl | Chatelaine
3. One Pan Mexican Quinoa | Damn Delicious
4. Quinoa Sushi | The Food Network
5. Chicken Quinoa Soup | Fit Foodie Finds
6. Lentil Quinoa Bowl | Running on Real Food
7. Sesame Ginger Beet Quinoa Bowl | Chatelaine
8. Chicken Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl | Spinach 4 Breakfast
9. Detox Quinoa Salad | Chelsea’s Messy Apron
10. Quinoa Minestrone Soup | Chatelaine
10 Dinner Quinoa Recipes
1. Black Bean and Corn Quinoa | Taste of Home
2. Quinoa with Lemon, Shallots and Herbs | Feasting at Home
3. One Pot Tandoori Quinoa | Yup It’s Vegan
4. Baked Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables | Chatelaine
5. Quinoa with Shiitakes and Snow Peas | The Food Network
6. Curry Spiced Quinoa | Dietician Debbie
7. Quinoa Fried Rice | Family Food on the Table
8. Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Quinoa | Evolving Table
9. Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake | Fit Foodie Finds
10. Chicken Fried Quinoa | The Food Network
10 Snack Quinoa Recipes
1. Peanut Butter Seed Bars | Chatelaine
2. Crispy Quinoa Patties | Feel Good Foodie
3. Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bites | Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen
4. Cheesy Quinoa Bites | So Very Blessed
5. Quinoa Peanut Butter Snack Balls | Yummly
6. Quinoa Oat Bites | Grain Crazy
7. Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Cups | Haute & Healthy Living
8. Vanilla Cashew Quinoa Bars | Veggiekins
9. Italian Quinoa Protein Patties | Apple of My Eye
10. Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites | Cupcakes and Kale Chips
10 Dessert Quinoa Recipes
1. Chocolate Quinoa Treats | Clean Food Crush
2. Quinoa Chocolate Brownie | Nest & Glow
3. Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Bars | Greeny Sherry
4. Blueberry Quinoa Crisp | Eating Healthy Spending Less
5. Quinoa Pudding | Five Heart Home
6. Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Cookies | Simply Quinoa
7. Quinoa Chocolate Banana Bread | Nest & Glow
8. Quinoa Krispie Treats | A Beautiful Mess
9. Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes | Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
10. Chai Spiced Oat and Quinoa Flour Muffins | Simply Quinoa
If you haven’t started cooking with quinoa, now is the time to start! Use it in place of rice and pasta, plus so much more, to create delicious gluten-free meals!