Quinoa, this superfood that occupies its place in the class

 Quinoa, this superfood that occupies its place in the class

Quinoa: Looks Great, Eats Better This ancient seed gained popularity in Western diets a few years ago due to its nutritional properties, but it's more than just a complete protein. Here's everything you need to know about your new staple.

What is quinoa?

Despite being on the same shelf as rice, pasta, or lentils, quinoa is neither a grain nor a legume, but a seed. This is why they share many characteristics with other seeds: they do not contain gluten, and they are a complete plant protein.

Although there are about 1,800 species of quinoa in the world, it is easy to find only three of them in the West: white quinoa, red quinoa, and black quinoa. It is sometimes marketed as a mixture. Each type

 has slight differences in taste. White quinoa has a mild taste, similar to bulgur, while red quinoa has nutty and earthy flavors like wild rice. You can find puffed or fluffy quinoa in health food stores. They can replace grains in snacks or in recipes based on dried grains, such as breaded fish or meatballs.

From a purely botanical point of view, quinoa belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, which also includes beets, chard, and spinach. Quinoa was domesticated by the peoples of America

 between 3000 and 5000 BC, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Evidence of quinoa has been found in ancient cemeteries in Chile and Peru.

What are the health benefits of quinoa?

The main argument in favor of quinoa is its protein content. All animal proteins are complete proteins, which means they contain all nine essential amino acids needed to build muscle. One cup (250

 grams) of cooked quinoa contains about 8 grams of protein. Plus, it contains 5 grams of fiber, which the body uses to keep the digestive system working properly, and may help support a healthy heart and

 immune system and reduce cancer risks. When it comes to macronutrients, quinoa contains 71% complex carbs, 15% protein, and 14% fat, making it an excellent post-workout food.

That same cup of quinoa covers more than half of your daily needs for manganese, a mineral salt that helps repair and maintain connective tissue, bone, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones, as

 well as promoting calcium absorption and regulating blood sugar and carbohydrate metabolism. . It contains 28% of your daily phosphorous needs, a mineral that, along with calcium, helps keep bones and teeth strong as well as better filter waste by the kidneys.

How to cook quinoa?

The big advantage of a real nutritious Swiss Army Knife is that it is easy to cook. If you know how to boil water, you know how to cook quinoa. FYI, red quinoa requires a little more cooking than white or black quinoa.

First, rinse the quinoa. This is an essential step: In fact, quinoa often contains traces of saponin, a bitter soapy substance that the plant

 makes to protect itself from insects. To remove all traces of saponins, place the seeds in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse them under cold water, stirring with a wooden spoon (the same one you will use during cooking).

Then boil the water. The texture of the quinoa should be light and fluffy. If the beans are undercooked or too dry, they give a crunchy and unpopular feeling in the mouth. If they are overcooked or too

 wet, they will become mushy. Depending on the recipe and packaging, the proportions of water and quinoa may change, but a safe bet is 1 cup of quinoa to 13/4 cup of water. Pour water and

 quinoa into a medium saucepan and heat over high heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat and stir with a wooden spoon, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. Stir with a fork, it is ready. If there is water left in the pan but the quinoa is fine with you, drain it.

Quinoa can be eaten hot or cold, as an accompaniment or as a base for a grain salad. If you prepare a large amount, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Pro tip: For more flavor, replace the cooking water with vegetable, poultry, or beef broth.

No-fuss recipes

What are the accompaniments of quinoa?

The great thing about quinoa is that it is very easy to make a meal of, whether or not you use a lot of ingredients. Here are some simple ideas that can help you make your own recipes.

quinoa porridge

In this breakfast preparation, quinoa replaces oat flakes. Cook quinoa in milk (animal or vegetable) instead of water. This may slightly increase the cooking time. When the quinoa becomes lumpy, garnish with the oilseeds, fruit, and shredded coconut...and serve.

Gourmet quinoa without cooking

For this recipe, no cooking. Mix quinoa and milk (animal or vegetable) in equal proportions and add the ingredients to the

 consistency and flavor of the preparation, as desired: dried fruits, flax seeds, berries, hemp and cinnamon. Close the container and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, stir it and eat it as is. Be sure to rinse the quinoa before preparing.

cold quinoa salad

This salad is eaten cold as pasta or risoni salad. Cook the quinoa and let it cool in the fridge. Decorate and season to taste. For a

 Mediterranean version, add diced cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, feta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. For a spicier version, serve it with spicy giardiniera (an Italian vegetable marinade). It is

 also possible to make a duo of quinoa and vegetables by combining a mixture of broccoli, cauliflower, and peas, with a lemon vinaigrette.

Mixed vegetables quinoa

This one-dish recipe can be used as a main or side dish, enjoyed hot or cold and can be served with multiple meals. Feel free to prepare a large amount! In a frying pan, fry the crushed garlic and chopped

 ginger in neutral oil, then salt. Add chopped onions and shallots or green onions and cook until the aroma forms. Add broccoli florets, coarsely chopped asparagus, chopped fennel, chopped celery, and

 any other vegetables to taste. Add salt, freshly crushed pepper, and any other seasoning of your choice. When the vegetables are tender, add the quinoa and stir until hot. Feet it right away.

quinoa salad

This recipe is the easiest and quickest way to prepare quinoa salad. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables. Variety is important: tomato, cucumber, broccoli, lettuce ... all combinations are good. Let the quinoa cool, then stir in the vegetables.

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