Weight Loss

Superfood Saturday: Why You Should Be Eating More Quinoa


We hear rather a lot about fashionable “superfoods” which are touted for his or her means to make us more healthy, slimmer, extra energetic and construct up immunity in opposition to all types of illnesses. Quinoa is one that truly lives as much as its hype. Pronounced “keen-wah,” the grain has been a staple of South American delicacies for hundreds of years, however just lately it’s change into common amongst wholesome eaters in North America as a result of it actually is exceptionally nutritious and versatile.

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Like different complete grains, this superfood is taken into account a SmartCarb on Nutrisystem—excessive in important nutritional vitamins, minerals and fiber, low in energy and low on the glycemic index. A half-cup of cooked quinoa counts as one serving. With that serving, you get 111 energy, greater than two grams of fiber and vital quantities of iron, potassium and phosphorus.

All of that might earn quinoa a spot in wholesome diets, however its protein content material strikes it as much as “superfood” standing. The half-cup serving has greater than 4 grams of protein. Much more precious, quinoa has the right stability of all 9 important amino acids, which is uncommon for plant meals.

Technically, quinoa isn’t a grain—it’s seeds from the plant in the identical household as beets. Not like grains reminiscent of wheat and rye, quinoa has no gluten, so it’s particularly interesting to individuals who keep away from it.


The three varieties of quinoa you see in grocery shops—crimson, black and white—are related in style and diet. White quinoa tends to be fluffier after cooking, whereas crimson and black varieties are a bit crunchier and stickier.

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Quinoa is usually rinsed earlier than cooking as a result of the seeds are coated with a layer of saponin, a bitter compound that protects them from predators. Most quinoa bought in supermarkets, nevertheless, is pre-rinsed earlier than packaging, so the bitterness is already gone. If you wish to be cautious, put the quinoa in a bowl, cowl it with water, swish it round after which drain it in a fine-mesh sieve.

To arrange quinoa, pour one cup of the grain and two cups of water in a medium saucepan. (For much more taste, use low-sodium vegetable broth as a substitute of the water—it’s a Free meals within the Nutrisystem program.) Carry the water to a boil over excessive warmth, then cowl the pot and simmer till many of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. When quinoa is absolutely cooked, it’s going to look translucent and have a bit of white “shoot.” Earlier than consuming, fluff the grains gently with a fork. A cup dry quinoa yields three cups cooked or six (half-cup) servings.

For baking, search for quinoa flakes and flour. To make your personal quinoa flour, use a clear espresso grinder to show the uncooked grains into fantastic powder.

Quinoa has a gentle, nutty taste and frivolously chewy texture. It really works in so many dishes, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert.

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1. Veggie Breakfast Bake >

breakfast bake

Counts as: zero.5 SmartCarb, 1 Vegetable

Energy up your mornings with a filling dish made with egg whites, cottage cheese and flavorful greens and this superfood.

2. Sluggish Cooker Carrot Breakfast Bowl >
slow cooker

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb

Take a break from odd oatmeal and begin your day with the style of heat carrot cake.

three. Candy and Salty Granola Bars >
Sweet & Salty Quinoa Granola Bar Recipe

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb

You could make your personal high-protein snacks with tasty peanut butter and crunchy nuts.

four. Black Bean Pumpkin Soup >

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb

Heat up your flex lunch (ladies) or snack (males) with hearty elements and zesty spices.

5. Cucumber Salad >
Quinoa salad

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 1.5 Greens, 2.5 Extras

Juicy cucumbers, candy onions, and aromatic herbs convey the flavour and the quinoa retains you full for hours.

6. Beetroot and Superfood Salad >
Beet Salad

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 2 Greens, 1 Additional

This colourful facet is nice and nutty, with feta cheese in each chew.

7. Edamame Burgers >
Quinoa-Edamame-Burgers healthy meals

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb

High these easy-to-make veggie patties with mustard, salsa or different Free meals, wrap them in a sturdy lettuce leaf and lunch is served.

eight. Crusted Rooster >
quinoa chicken

Counts as: 2 PowerFuels, zero.5 SmartCarb

Crunchy on the surface, juicy on the within, this entree is certain to change into a favourite for the entire household.

9. PB&J Cups >
PB&J Quinoa Crunch Cups healthy snacks

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 1 Additional

Deal with your self to the candy goodness of actual peanut butter and jelly enclosed in an edible cup.

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