The Quinoa Top 10
Why do we make so much fuss about Quinoa?
Quinoa is classified as a whole grain in the culinary world, but it’s actually a seed from a flowering plant that traditionally grows in Peru and Bolivia. We love it for many reasons, but here are the top 10:
- It’s a complete protein. Most grains have a few amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Quinoa is unique because it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. So, it has the same nine amino acids found in meat or chicken, but it’s a vegan, plant-based source. Sweet!
- It’s gluten-free. This is an important consideration for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, who cannot tolerate gluten (a protein found in some grains).
- It’s non-GMO. There’s no need to genetically modify it, because it’s pretty perfect already. When it grows, quinoa is naturally coated in a bitter plant substance called saponin, which keeps pests at bay. No need for tons of pesticides – the saponin naturally does the trick and keeps pests away! Not to worry - all the saponin has been rinsed from our quinoa.
- It’s high in fibre. A cup of cooked quinoa has 5.5 grams of fibre, and contains both insoluble (which helps keep you regular) and soluble (which helps lower cholesterol levels) fibre.
- It has serious roots. Ancient grain? Oh yeah. Quinoa has been cultivated for about 4000 years. It was considered a sacred crop by the Incas, who called it the "Mother of All Grains", and has been enjoyed as a healthy staple for millennia.
- It’s nutrient-rich: Quinoa is a source of many vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and a host of B vitamins including folate.
- It contains beneficial antioxidants: Quinoa contains quercetin and kaempferol, two antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory effects.
- It has a low glycemic index: That means it won’t cause a huge spike in your blood sugar levels, because it’s not a refined carb like sugar. Instead, it’s got a nice balance of carbs and protein, and enough fibre to keep blood sugar stable.
- It pops like popcorn: Quinoa puffs are the best snack! We add puffed quinoa to Kinwa bars, and sometimes pop up a batch of puffed quinoa for a great movie-watching snack at home. Try it out!
- It tastes great: Slightly nutty and mild, quinoa is a blank canvas that can be used in so many exciting ways. Like, hmmm, adding quinoa flakes, puffs and germ to Kinwa bars!