A beginner should know about the origins of the product he is using. This is applied to various grains and pulses as well, which we consume in our daily life. Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) was found to be originated in Peru and is often referred to as a grain. Along with Peru it is now also grown in the mountains of Bolivia and Ecuador. Quinoa is famous as a superfood due to its benefits for the digestive system. Despite being a mainstream grain now, many people don’t know much about the properties, uses, and benefits of quinoa. Therefore, we prepared this article as a beginner’s guide to quinoa.

Quinoa gained popularity as a rice substitute and can be found in various forms like grains or flour. There are numerous varieties of quinoa available all over the world, however, only a few of them are available commercially and are mostly consumed. White quinoa is the most commonly available variety and is used widely for various purposes. Red quinoa is mostly used as a salad base since it has the ability to hold shape once cooked, while black quinoa is known to have an earthy flavor.

For any beginner starting to consume quinoa and is confused about how to cook it, we provide you with a simple cooking guide as well. The simplest way to cook quinoa is like rice in a rice steamer. However, make sure you rinse it first just like rice. One can add organic stock like vegetables or chicken to add some flavor. They are cooked when all the water is absorbed and the seeds are expanded. Quinoa can be served hot with a curry or cold like in a salad base topped with chopped capsicum, onions, shallots, and garlic. Seasonings like thyme, lime, salt, oregano, or pepper can be added later for taste.

Quinoa is a highly nutritious seed that is filled with essential amino acids like lysine and other minerals like calcium and iron. Quinoa is harvested after removing the saponins and storing just the seeds, therefore quinoa is a popular ingredient in gluten-free foods. It is highly rich in protein and comparatively low in carbs in addition to some healthy fats and fibers. Moreover, it is also found to be a rich source of minerals like magnesium, tryptophan, and copper.

Nowadays, quinoa is one of the most widely consumed grains as a healthy alternative to rice. We recommend you definitely give it a try once!

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