If you are seeking quinoa recipes, you may also want to know a little more about this healthy grain. Quinoa is actually an ancient seed that has only recently gained popularity in the United States. The Incas considered it sacred and the people of the Andes have cultivated quinoa for thousands of years. Pronounced “KEEN-wah,” quinoa has the benefits of being gluten-free and is a complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids your body requires. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. Now that you understand all the advantages of this super-food, read on to learn some quinoa recipes so that you can incorporate it into your family’s food repertoire, and not just as a suppertime side dish.
Quinoa Recipes for Breakfast
Because quinoa is high in protein and fiber, quinoa recipes are ideal to make for breakfast. It will help you stay fuller longer and give you that boost of energy that you need. Enjoy quinoa as a warm breakfast cereal, much like oatmeal. Combine a cup of quinoa with two cups water in a medium saucepan. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter cup raisins and bring to a boil. Turn down to the lowest setting and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the quinoa to simmer for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed. Sweeten with brown sugar or maple syrup to taste.
You can also make a cold cereal dish. Combine one cup of quinoa with two cups apple juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes to absorb liquid. Allow to cool slightly. Stir in one teaspoon of cinnamon, two diced apples or a cup of applesauce, a cup of vanilla yogurt and a half cup of your favorite chopped nuts, if desired. Stir well, place in a lidded container and refrigerate. Both of these breakfast quinoa recipes will keep in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Quinoa Recipes for Snacks
Since quinoa is a crunchy seed that satiates you, quinoa recipes are perfect for an afterschool snack or late-night indulgence. Make this quinoa recipe for granola for a healthy, crunchy snack. Add a cup of water and a quarter cup of quinoa to a saucepan. Allow the quinoa to soak for about two hours. Carefully strain the water from the quinoa. Preheat oven to 250 F. In a large bowl, combine the soaked quinoa with two cups of old-fashioned oats, a quarter cup each of chopped or slivered nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, canola oil and honey. Stir well. Spread onto ungreased sheet or pan and toast in the oven for one hour, stirring occasionally.
You can even whip up creaming quinoa pudding. Preheat your oven to 300 F and grease a two-quart casserole or other oven-save dish. Rinse a quarter cup of quinoa for a few minutes. Mix the quinoa with four cups of milk, three-quarters of a cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour into the casserole dish. Bake for two hours, stirring occasionally if you do not like skin on the top of your pudding. Remove from the oven and stir in a half-teaspoon of vanilla extract and a cup of raisins. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon, cooling slightly or refrigerating before serving.
Now that you have some quinoa recipes to try, here is a tip on finding quinoa at your grocery store: Check in the organic or whole foods section if it is not with the rice and other grains. If you do not see it, ask your grocer to stock it for you. Most whole foods and bulk foods stores carry quinoa as well.