With a global reputation as an ancient superfood it is funny to see how many people still don’t know about quinoa. This ancient grain is actually related to spinach and kale, rather than wheat or other official “grains”. This is why so many people with gluten intolerance use it on a daily basis. Many others have discovered it as a better option than rice. Quinoa is also one of the world’s most useful “weight loss” foods.
How is it a weight loss food? It is high in dietary fibre and protein. This means you can eat a little bit of quinoa and feel much fuller than if you at something like a plate of pasta or rice. The quinoa is going to take longer to digest as well and you will feel satiated for a lot longer. It is also going to have no harmful impact on your glycemic index. Whilst delivering a long list of nutrients and very few calories, it is going to prevent spikes in blood sugar.
So, whether you are looking for ways to add quinoa to the diet in order to drop weight, protect yourself from gluten intake, keep yourself fuller for longer after a meal, or to simply enjoy the nutrient dense benefits of this tasty food source, we have some tips for using it in new and exciting ways.
Top Tips for Adding Quinoa to the Daily Diet
- As a substitute for oats – Though most health advocates would say that old-fashioned oatmeal is a great food source, if you cannot have the gluten or are just looking for something a bit new for breakfast (or as a great snack), just swap out the grains for the quinoa instead. You use a 1:1 ratio for quinoa and the cooking fluid (whether milk, soymilk, or water) and just simmer until done. You can top it with the same fruit or other foods as you want, or sprinkle it with chia seeds for the world’s most healthy breakfast!
- As a flour substitute – Whether you are making pancakes for breakfast, or baking a fruit based bread as a healthy snack, you can grind up quinoa into a flour-like texture and use it as a replacement for traditional flour. It will give any recipe a real increase in fibre, vitamins, and protein but it can change the texture or property of a batter so experiment carefully.
- Use it as a grain salad alternative – You can go online and find dozens and dozens of quinoa salad recipes. This is because it can give a good and crunchy texture that most pasta or grain salads rarely provide and it also comes with that impressive nutrient dense punch.
- Use it as an oat or grain replacement in granola-type recipes – We all have a good assortment of trail mix, snack bar, and granola recipes we enjoy. Quinoa can be toasted and/or cooked and then used in any of those recipes. You will be increasing the fibre and protein counts substantially and this can turn your usual trail mix from a sugary snack into an true energy creating treat.
- As the filler in meatballs, burgers, and stuffing – Lots of cooks forget that quinoa can be used as the breadcrumbs or the filler that is usually added to everything from meatloaf and meatballs to holiday stuffing recipes. Just be sure you are using it in the proper form such as a cooked and soft ingredient or a dry and crispy one.
You should explore the many websites offering free quinoa recipes, but don’t forget to examine your favorites and see where quinoa can be used to replace less optimal ingredients.
If you have questions about ways to add quinoa to the diet, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian.