Quinoa: what’s it all about and how can you use it?

Quinoa is mostly found clinging to the mountain fields of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador and incredibly has been growing for domestic purposes since 3000BC. It forms a very important part of the natives’ staple diet, being nutritious, easily attainable and also extremely cheap – at least it used to be.

Pronounced keen-wa (not qui-no-a), the increasingly popular crop is a hugely profitable export for some South American countries. It has recently been hailed as a new superfood in the West, because it contains essential amino acids and high levels of calcium, phosphorous and iron. It doesn’t taste too bad either, with a subtle nutty flavour and interesting texture. Along with a quick cooking time, it seems to be an all-round winner and is regularly seen on restaurant menus and supermarkets.

If you’re tempted to try quinoa, give one of these recipes a try…




Remember – quinoa is not the be all and end all of healthy grains. There are many other grains and pulses that carry flavours as well as quinoa and are equally as healthy. Brown rice, pearl barley, bulgar wheat and wholewheat couscous are all great substitutes.

Got leftover quinoa? For a simple meal for one or two, stuff whatever leftover quinoa you've got into a bell pepper or a tomato, add a shake of garlic salt or whatever seasoning you like, perhaps some breadcrumbs or cheese if you're not eating vegan or gluten-free, and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Presto! You've got yourself a whole new meal. Like making stuffed tomatoes or bell peppers? Here are 8 ways to make stuffed tomatoes.

Savory or sweet, muffins are a great way to use up leftover quinoa. Here's how:


Delicious way to eat more healthy grains! Followed the recipe as stated and tossed a little feta cheese on top. Yum! Might reduce the oil next time.

I LOVE THIS RECIPE! It was easy and simple to make. It is so refreshing every time I ate it. I may try some other variations that are mentioned here. They sound amazing!

Excellent and simple. I didn't have parsley so used a mix of basil and dill and upped the quantities. I also borrowed a trick from Maria Speck's Ancient Grains and toasted the quinoa with coriander seeds and added sumac to the water. So good. The great thing about this recipe is you can really play around with it and add whatever vegetables you have. I tend to like tabbouleh that is more vegetable than grain, so it's easy to do that here by adding more tomato and cucumber.

I made this exactly except for adding the lemon zest, a little feta and the Kalimantan olives this is to die for! Before adding these other it was so good the additions just added another zip of flavor! Thank you for a great recipe!

I have made this multiple times over the last 3 years. And love it every time. I frequently add more mint and sometimes fresh basil. And I’ve used heirloom tomatoes in place of cherry. It is always delicious. And quite a crowd pleaser. Picnics, bbqs, pot lucks, even dinner parties. I’ve given this recipe out more times than I can remember.

So good! I didn’t have mint so added extra parsley, and only needed about half the oil.

I love this recipe and make it again and again. The more herbs, the better and I always omit the cucumber.

I really like this recipe. When I went gluten-free a few months ago I was heartbroken over the thought of not being able to eat tabouli anymore but quinoa is a great substitute for the wheat. I didn’t follow this recipe exactly because I used Roma tomatoes, less cucumber, more parsley, about half the called for olive oil and a lot more lemon juice. I also added some lemon zest which really perked it all up. I encourage people to add a dash or two of cinnamon. It isn’t necessary but it makes a big difference in the long run. When I say a dash or two, I mean it. Not very much, just a tad. I think this recipe is a good starting point. If you’ve never eaten tabouli before this might be all you need but if you’re an experience tabouli eater this is a good foundation from which to create your own perfect dish.

Terrific salad, everyone asked for the recipe. I cut the oil and added crumbled feta cheese. Will definitely make again!

Great use of quinoa. I was going to leave out the mint but was very glad I didn't.

Excellent! Aside from using all of the juice from a large lemon, using 3 cloves minced garlic, and throwing in some finely minced red onion I had kicking around in the fridge, I didn't really change anything. Just a heads up, though. Maybe it was just me, and the fact that I am inexperienced cooking quinoa, but I found following the above instructions resulted in partially uncooked quinoa, with lots of still hard seeds. After it had "finished" I ended up needing to add more water (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup ?), and cooking it on low heat for another ten minutes. I suggest taking checking around Google for better quinoa cooking instructions. TheKitchn has some helpful tips. (I would link the page I found.. but this site won't allow it)

Used a little less oil and a little more mint, for my taste. Great summer salad!

Everyone wanted the recipe! As suggested, I reduced the olive oil to 1/4 cup and added lemon zest to the dressing. Perfection!

Excellent! I made it just as instructed except I followed readers advice and upped the Lemon juice. I also prefer chopped tomatoes to the cherry tomatoes just for ease of eating. Will definitely make again and toy wth the lemon juice/EVOO ratio just to make less caloric.

I've made this recipe at least six times this summer. I absolutely love it. My own preference is to add less oil and much more lemon. Grated lemon peel really popped the flavor, as well!

Tips for Baking Bread With Quinoa Flour

Photo courtesy of Ashley McLaughlin, Edible Perspective

No longer a secret reserved for professional gluten-free bakers, quinoa flour is quickly becoming a household pantry staple. It’s a fantastic ingredient for making all manner of gluten-free goodies, from pancakes to muffins to donuts to dinner rolls. Quinoa flour can be used to enhance the texture, flavor and nutritional content of so many things – once you know the basics.

To help get you started, we’ve got some helpful information and general tips for baking bread with quinoa flour:

  • First of all, it’s good to know just how versatile quinoa flour is. It creates a soft baked good but is also wonderful for making bread and is a fantastic all-purpose type of flour.
  • Quinoa flour is especially great for baking gluten-free bread because of its protein content. Since gluten is a protein, it is important to use higher protein flours (such as quinoa) when baking gluten-free. The protein in quinoa flour helps to give your bread some structure, and will improve the overall texture.
  • For best flavor, try toasting your quinoa flour before using it: Spread it out onto baking sheets covered in foil or parchment paper, and bake at 215 degrees for 2 ½ – 3 hours. You’ll know the flour is ready when its scent is nearly gone and the flour has a mild flavor. Once it’s been toasted, your quinoa flour should keep well in the fridge or freezer for about 8 months.
  • Even after toasting, quinoa flour does have a very slight sour flavor – which lends itself beautifully to things like bread and English muffins.

This is the perfect recipe for when you’re looking to make a quick and easy loaf of bread. Ingredients include both quinoa flour and quinoa flakes – and not only is it gluten-free, but it’s vegan as well.

After creating a hearty base of gluten-free oat flour, almond flour and quinoa flour, Ashley of Edible Perspective gives us two variations on her tasty quinoa oat bread: a savory one with herbs (pictured above) and a sweet version with hints of cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup.

We know that quinoa flour alone is a good source of protein – but this recipe also includes chickpea flour, which gives the bread a rich, dense texture. The resulting loaf acts the same way as traditional bread simply slice it and enjoy it as toast or a sandwich.

Looking to try something new? These gluten-free breadsticks feature a blend of quinoa flour, sorghum flour and brown rice flour as well as chickpea flour for the perfect crumbly, golden brown texture.

50 Creative Ways to Eat Quinoa: Healthy Quinoa Recipes

It may no longer be the international year of quinoa (here&rsquos looking at you, 2013!), but it&rsquos safe to say that quinoa mania is still going strong. Whether it&rsquos rolled up in our sushi, baked into our bread, or served in a salad, this nutritious seed seems to be everywhere. And it&rsquos no surprise, considering it&rsquos jam-packed with protein, all nine essential amino acids, and is also high in good-for-you fiber, iron, and manganese. With a subtly nutty flavor and texture that&rsquos somewhere between chewy and fluffy, it&rsquos perfect for all different kinds of cuisines and meal types.

Despite quinoa&rsquos impressive assets, eating bowl after bowl of the stuff is a one-way ticket to Dullsville. Luckily, given the versatility of this mighty little seed, there are plenty of ways to dress it up and build on its flavor. Check out these amazing healthy quinoa recipes for some inspiration!


Photo: Carey/Reclaiming Provincial

1. Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait
Breakfast that can double as dessert? Sign us up! Quinoa gets the sweet treatment thanks to a cinnamon-y oat crumble and a caramelized apple mixture. Layer the three in between a few dollops of Greek yogurt, and voilà: pure delight in every spoonful.

2. Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
What breakfast food list would be complete without an egg dish? If you lean toward savory in the AM, this bowl has just what you need to satisfy your sunny-side up craving. Think grated cheese, broccoli, mushrooms, and quinoa&mdashtopped with an egg and seasoned to perfection.

3. Quinoa Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup
Though we might have to save it for those &ldquotreat yo self&rdquo mornings, this decadent dish is definitely not to be missed. Pump up the nutritional value of regular pancakes by adding quinoa and blueberries to the mix (hello, protein and antioxidant megapowers!). Though not light on calories, these made-from-scratch pancakes are packed with good-for-you ingredients.

4. Pumpkin Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
Cookies for breakfast might feel taboo, but these oaty, whole-wheat treats will make you throw out the dessert rulebook&mdashespecially since you get a taste of pumpkin, a heart-healthy, immunity-boosting superfood, in every bite.

5. Warm Quinoa and Berry Bowl
With just six ingredients, this breakfast dish only looks&mdashand tastes&mdashgourmet. A berry medley, quinoa, some water, a tad of agave, and some zesty ginger combine for one delicious morning meal.

6. Cranberry Quinoa Muffins
A coffeehouse staple, muffins are often big on size but small on satiety. Quinoa to the rescue! Add some to the mix, and you&rsquove got the dose of protein you need to keep you full and to help you power through your morning&mdashwithout worrying about your stomach grumbling an hour later.

7. Guacamole Quinoa with Mango
As you can see, we&rsquove made it our mission to locate every awesome riff on guacamole, and this protein-packed, tropical recipe is one more take on a long-time fave.

8. Quinoa Scramble
Scrambled eggs, quinoa, and avocado: the main ingredients in this recipe are proof positive that keeping things simple is always a good option.

9. Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with Quinoa
Ditch the store-bought versions and stash these bake-to-take bars in your bag&mdashthey&rsquore just the things you need when a 3:00 p.m. snack-attack hits.

10. Cheese and Vegetable Quinoa Bites
The next time you host a party, serve up some of these savory baked bites. These little guys contain cheese, shredded carrots, and fresh spinach (a superfood in its own right), and owe their flavor to garlic and shallots.

11. Crispy Quinoa Bites
Another stellar finger-food option, these bites have a hint of Italian flavor, thanks to fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella cheese, and grape tomatoes. Hey, anything that sounds like pizza is a welcome snack in our books.

12. Roasted Shrimp Quinoa Spring Rolls
Swap out vermicelli noodles, the traditional filling for spring rolls, for nutritious and delicious quinoa. Whip up a super simple dipping sauce (seriously, it only requires four ingredients!), and you&rsquove got an app that may outshine your main meal.

13. Spicy Quinoa-Crusted Chicken Fingers with Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce
Think chicken fingers are just for the kid&rsquos menu? Think again! Three standout ingredients&mdashcumin, chili powder, and quinoa&mdashin the crust give this childhood favorite a serious upgrade. And don&rsquot even dare to dip these guys in ketchup this avocado dipping sauce is what dreams are made of.

14. Black Bean Quinoa Sliders
What&rsquos better than bite-sized burgers? Bite-sized burgers with tons of fiber and protein, flavored with red onions, garlic, cilantro, and some creamy tahini. That&rsquos what!

15. Quinoa Egg Muffins
Though they&rsquore called &ldquomuffins,&rdquo these baked wonders shouldn&rsquot be confused with the fluffy, bread-y variety. More along the lines of a mini frittata, they pack plenty of protein and a generous serving of your favorite veggies.


Photo: Christal/Nutritionist in the Kitch

16. Black Bean and Quinoa Soup
There&rsquos something ultra-comforting about soups in general, but this black bean soup in particular has a way of warming us up (both literally and figuratively). Quinoa&rsquos texture makes it extra hearty&mdashand adds plenty of protein and good-for-you nutrients.

17. The &ldquoZen&rdquo Quinoa Bowl
What happens when you pair tons of veggies with egg whites, quinoa, and kicky spices, then top it all off with avocado slices? Something awesome, obviously! This supremely delicious meal can be enjoyed morning, noon, or night.

18. Caprese Quinoa Salad
Super simple and oh-so-tasty, this recipe adds some embellishments (in the form of pine nuts, quinoa, and avocado&mdashall of which we adore) to the Italian classic antipasto.

19. Cranberry, Orange, and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad
The citrusy, antioxidant-rich combo of oranges and cranberries pairs perfectly with quinoa and creamy goat cheese.

20. Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad
Is anything more refreshing than lemon paired with cilantro? Apart from lemonade, we doubt it. Add cherry tomatoes, avocado, quinoa, and other goodies, and the result is a salad as pretty as it is delicious.

Photo: Amie/The Healthy Apple

21. Toasted Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Maple Almond Clusters
Sweetened with a little maple syrup and cinnamon, baked almonds add a little extra oomph to an otherwise simple salad. Throw in some toasted quinoa, and garnish with sprouts, fresh basil, and orange zest for a light and refreshing meal.

22. Ribboned Asparagus and Quinoa Salad
Oh, how we love asparagus. Not only is it low-calorie with bone-boosting vitamin K, it also contains hangover-curing superpowers. No wonder it&rsquos a superfood. Instead of enjoying it in spear-form, put the vegetable peeler to work creating thin ribbons. Throw in some quinoa and pine nuts, and top it all off with a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for a simple but oh-so-satisfying dish.

23. Sweet Potato Quinoa Soup
This chunky soup is brimming with healthy ingredients&mdashand that&rsquos on top of the quinoa. Colorful sweet potatoes are chock-full of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and more superstar nutrients. Truth bomb: a medium sweet potato packs even more potassium than a banana!

24. Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts seem to inspire love &lsquoem or hate &lsquoem reactions. That said, we&rsquore fairly certain that, when roasted with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dill and paired with almonds, raisins, and&mdashof course&mdashquinoa, even the most adamant haters will enjoy this oft-ignored cruciferous veggie.

25. Broccoli Quinoa Quesadillas
These aren&rsquot the quesadillas from your old college days&mdashthough they&rsquore almost as easy to make. The main difference? They contain quinoa and another superfood (and cancer-fighting star), broccoli.

26. Quinoa and Mean Greens Medley
This dish is basically brimming with superfoods&mdashwe&rsquore talking four nutritional powerhouses, all packed into one phenomenal meal. The stars of this recipe? Quinoa, kale, spinach, and broccoli. Whether served as a side or enjoyed as an entrée, this dish is one to keep on heavy rotation.

27. Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
Another colorful quinoa combination, this slightly spicy salad is a rock-steady choice for weeknight meals. It&rsquos easy and speedy to pull together&mdashthe ideal combo for a post-work cooking session.

Photo: Lauren/The Talking Kitchen

28. Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad
Time crunch? This one&rsquos for you! Hands down one of the best things about roasting veggies ishow easy it is (just slice, season, and throw &lsquoemin the oven). Cubed veggies, such as zucchini and bell peppers, turn into a full-on meal when paired with quinoa and topped with a zesty and refreshing dressing.

29. Edamame Quinoa Salad
This colorful salad will help you taste the rainbow&mdashwithout food coloring&mdashthanks to a mix of bold ingredients: red cabbage, red peppers, pineapple, almonds, and more. Top it all off with chili powder and garlic dressing for a festive finish.


30. Quinoa and Shrimp Paella
One of the most beautiful things about paella? It varies from cook to cook and can be adapted based on your veggie, meat, and even rice preferences. This recipe replaces the rice base with quinoa&mdashan amazing alternative to the traditional Spanish dish. Muy delicioso!

31. Red Quinoa Cakes
Real talk: Sometimes we just can&rsquot say no to something gooey and cheesy. These bad boys, which go a little heavy on the cheddar, are no exception. They look a bit like burger patties, but these cheesy quinoa cakes can be made so that they&rsquore completely vegetarian-friendly&mdashit only takes a simple swap of vegetable broth for chicken broth. (It&rsquos also one of our favorite red quinoa recipes!)

32. Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
This vegan meal is for meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters alike. Rosemary, garlic, and a balsamic vinegar glaze amps up the umami flavor of the mushrooms. Quinoa and kale keep it super filling.

33. Baked Turkey, Zucchini, and Quinoa Meatballs in Lettuce Wraps
Swapping out bread can be a great opportunity to add more healthful (and gluten-free) ingredients into a dish, and here it&rsquos swapped out twice over: subbing quinoa for breadcrumbs and lettuce for the bun.

34. Porcini Mushroom Quinoa Risotto
Unlike regular risotto, this one skips arborio rice. Instead, quinoa is the base for this completely dairy-free dish. Asparagus, spinach, and two different kinds of mushrooms come together for an earthy-yet-springy flavor.

Photo: Sarah/Making Thyme for My Health

35. Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole
Casseroles might be the ultimate comfort food. They&rsquore warm, filling, and make excellent leftovers. This one has the added benefit of also including quinoa, tons of spinach, and artichoke hearts.

36. Cilantro-Quinoa Turkey Burgers with Garlicky Kale
As if the cilantro, ground turkey, and quinoa combo wasn&rsquot enticing enough, top it all off with a big ol&rsquo heap of kale sautéed to garlicky goodness, wedge it all between two buns, and you&rsquove got a delicious new take on the standard burger.

37. Quinoa Puttanesca
Yet another twist on an Italian mainstay, this Puttanesca recipe ditches pasta in favor of quinoa and adds another nutritional superstar: spinach! This leafy green is full of vitamins that help protect your vision and boost your bone health.

38. Slow-Cooker Chicken, Quinoa, and Kale Soup
Digging out your slow cooker is so worth it for this soup. With protein-packed quinoa and nutrient-dense kale, this meal&rsquos basically a superfood free-for-all.

39. Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
Meet your new favorite dish for fall. Nothing says y-u-m like acorn squash filled up with cholesterol-lowering apples, antioxidant-rich cranberries, walnuts (which may help prevent diabetes), and other goodies.

40. Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa
Apart from protein, this dish packs divine flavor from onion, garlic, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and a dash of (optional) hot sauce.


41. Quinoa Brownies
The secret good-for-you ingredients in these gooey brownies? Quinoa, flax, and&hellip wait for it&hellip butternut squash purée! You get a healthy dose of protein, omega-3s, and vitamin A in every single delectable bite.

42. Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake
This moist, chocolaty cake clearly deserves the title &ldquounforgettable.&rdquo And swapping out flour for quinoa is straight-up genius, making the cake protein-packed and gluten-free.

43. Salted Quinoa Chocolate Bark with Pistachios
What makes the best chocolate bark? A combo of sweet, salty, crunchy, and a little spicy. Toasted quinoa, shelled pistachios, sea salt, and cayenne pepper hit all four criteria.

44. Quinoa Almond Macaroons
Coconut-y and a little crunchy, these five-ingredient macaroons are gluten-free and topped with a full tank of protein, thanks to a cup of quinoa.

45. Blueberry Almond and Amaretto Quinoa Crisp
Don&rsquot let the fancy name fool you. This dessert is accessible to cooks of all experience levels. With just four steps, quick prep time, and excellent ingredients like fresh, antioxidant-rich blueberries and crunchy almond slices, you&rsquove got a sweet treat that&rsquos both delish and Instagram-worthy.

46. Guilt-Free Oats and Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
As if chocolate chip cookies could get any better, this recipe cuts back on some sugar and swaps flour for quinoa flour without sacrificing taste. Plus, it doesn&rsquot require a mixer&mdashperfect for people with just basic kitchen equipment. Better yet, with a simple switch to gluten-free oats, these cookies can easily be made completely gluten-free.

Photo: Alyssa/Queen of Quinoa

47. Dark Chocolate Quinoa Truffles
How can you go wrong with chocolate-covered chocolate? Okay, so there&rsquos a bit more to the filling than just cocoa&mdashit&rsquos a mixture of dates, quinoa, almond butter, and more. That said, these tasty truffles are so easy to make, and even easier to enjoy.

48. Peanut Butter and Nutella Quinoa Bites
We couldn&rsquot dream up a more delicious combination: nutella and peanut butter criss-crossed with a drizzle of chocolate. These no-bake balls are easy to make, better to eat, and will satisfy any raging chocoholic.

49. Quinoa Chocolate Drops
We&rsquore big fans of almost anything that involves peanut butter and chocolate, two great tastes that taste absolutely freaking amazing together. This nutty, no-bake dessert is no exception.

50. Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bars
A candy-shop treat made with natural sugar and quinoa,these crunchy chocolate bars will satisfy both your sweet and salty cravings alike. Score!

6 Things You Need to Know before Buying Quinoa

Whether you've bought a bag of quinoa every week since 2008 or are thinking about trying it for the very first time, STOP! There's some important info you should know about the delicious, albeit oddly-named little grain. Before you hit the grocery store, read this. You'll be glad you did.

1) Pick whatever color you want.

White, red, or black? They're pretty much all the same nutritionally&mdashso go with what tastes best to you, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, owner of Nutrition Starring You, LCC. White quinoa is the least bitter of the three, while red and black have a chewier texture that holds up better in cold dishes like salads.

2) Buy pre-rinsed to make your life easier.
Raw quinoa grains are coated with saponin, a compound that acts as a natural pest repellent. (Mother Nature, always thinking!) Eating saponin won't hurt you&mdashbut it tastes really bitter, so it might make you want to toss your perfectly fluffy bowl of quinoa in the trash. Sure, you could just rinse the saponin off your quinoa by running it under cold water before cooking. But most strainers aren't actually fine enough to keep the grains from getting everywhere, so that can be a hassle. Do yourself a favor and buy quinoa that's already pre-rinsed. It's easy to find (the label will say so) and usually isn't any more expensive.

3) Double-check the label if you're gluten-free.
Quinoa is touted as a gluten-free grain&mdashand usually, it is. But get this: One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that looked at 15 strains of quinoa found that two actually contained measurable levels of gluten. Even though the quinoa you find at the grocery store is probably free of gluten, if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, it always pays to double-check. Before buying, make sure your quinoa is certified gluten-free. (Check out these gluten-free flours.)

4) Don't stress over organic and non-GMO.
Save your dough for organic apples and grass-fed beef. Because quinoa comes with built-in, nasty-tasting saponin, farmers don't need to do much in the way of spraying to repel pests. "Unless you insist on buying all organic foods, quinoa probably isn't the best way to spend your organic food budget," Harris-Pincus says. And since quinoa isn't a genetically modified grain, all quinoa in its raw form is non-GMO.

5) Don't feel bad that it's grown in South America.

You might remember the frenzy that ensued when, a few years back, news broke that quinoa was becoming so popular in the US that the South American farmers who grew it could no longer afford to actually eat the stuff themselves. (The majority of the world's quinoa is grown in Peru and Bolivia.) Fortunately, that isn't true: According to NPR, quinoa farmers are still eating the staple grain&mdashand earning big bucks for selling it to us. (Plus, it's popping up in restaurants all over America.)

6) Feel free to mix it up a little bit.
Yes, we all know that quinoa is crazy good for you. And while eating it every day is totally fine, it's still smart to make room for other sources of complex carbs. "I'm a believer in including many different whole grains in your diet, because they each offer a different nutritional profile," Harris-Pincus says. (Though if you're vegan, making quinoa a staple food makes sense, since it's the only whole grain that's a complete protein.) Brown rice and millet bowl, anyone?

These quinoas are top quality: Still not sure where to find the perfect quinoa? We love Ancient Harvest, Bob's Red Mill, and Arrowhead Mills.

How to Make Quinoa Flour

Start with the whole raw seed (anywhere from 1/4 – 1 cup).

Now, the next two stages are optional, but I think lend a really nice flavor to the flour.

Add the raw quinoa to a dry skillet and toast the quinoa until it begins to brown and pop. It will have a distinctly nutty smell. Be careful here as quinoa can burn quite quickly, so keep a close eye on it.

Once toasted, transfer the quinoa to either a spice grinder (like I have here) or a high-powered blender. Blend/grind the quinoa on high for 1 minute until it’s a fine powder.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and add the quinoa mixture.

Sift until only large chunks remain. (p.s. don’t throw this out – it makes and excellent warm cereal when mixed with some water or plant-based milk)

If the quinoa was toasted, allow the flour to cool completely before storing. If not, transfer it to a sealed container and store until you’re ready to use it!

See how easy that was? Making your own quinoa flour is a cinch and will end up saving you loads of money.

Side Effects

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if quinoa is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use of amounts higher than those found in food.

Allergy to other foods used as grains: Quinoa may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to foods used as grains, such as buckwheat, wheat, and rice. If you have allergies to grains, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before using quinoa.

My Quinoa Tastes Bitter! How Can I Make Quinoa Not Taste Bitter?

Including small amounts of quinoa in foods that they already like will help the taste center in their brain adjust to the new taste without their even knowing it. For example, mix a small amount of cooked white quinoa in meatballs, macaroni and cheese, a casserole, or even cookies. With some time, their taste buds will become more accepting of the quinoa flavor and they’ll be more likely to eat quinoa out-of-disguise.

For a bunch more tips, you can also see my post on How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy.

5 Facts About Quinoa Nutrition and Cooking Quinoa

Quinoa's nutrition profile makes it stand out. This whole grain is packed with fiber, protein and vitamins. Learn more about why it's so good for you.

Quinoa has claimed a new place in the nutrition world&aposs spotlight in the past decade, but this whole grain (which is technically a seed) is actually not new at all. In fact, quinoa has been cultivated for about 5,000 years and is native to South America.

The earliest growers and harvesters of quinoa were certainly onto something back then, as this powerhouse seed is packed with nutrients, easy to prepare and versatile in the kitchen. With the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommending that Americans make half of our grains whole grains–that equates to three to five or more servings of whole grains per day–jumping on the quinoa bandwagon is a fantastic way to reach this goal.

Try These Recipes: Healthy Quinoa Recipes

The Health Benefits of Quinoa

1. Quinoa Is High in Fiber

One cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of fiber.

What makes quinoa so healthy? Whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, farro, buckwheat and more, contain all three parts of the original grain–the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Refined grains, on the other hand, are stripped of the fiber–that means the nutrient-rich bran and germ and are only left with the endosperm, the starchy part of the grain. Refined grains deliver all the starches and carbs without any of the nutritional heft of the whole varieties.

Whole grains also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants, and are believed to promote digestive health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Quinoa Is a Complete Protein

One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein.

Quinoa is unique among whole grains because it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (something most plant-based proteins aren&apost) and a particularly excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans who are not obtaining amino acids from meat.

3. Quinoa Delivers a Vitamin & Mineral Boost

In addition to protein and fiber, quinoa is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, thiamine and folate. And as an added bonus for those with celiac disease or any gluten sensitivity or just follow a gluten-free diet, quinoa is naturally gluten-free.

Cooking with Quinoa

4. Quinoa Is a Quick-Cooking Whole Grain

Unlike many other whole grains that can take 30 minutes or more to prepare, quinoa is relatively quick-cooking. It only requires about 15 minutes of simmering in boiling water, making it a great choice for busy weeknights.

Before you boil it, however, you&aposll want to make sure to rinse the quinoa seeds in a fine-mesh strainer under running water to remove the bitter outer coating (saponin). You can also look for prewashed varieties when you&aposre shopping.

There are several different types of quinoa (red, purple, black, white and yellow), most of which can be used interchangeably and may make the grain more appealing for kids.

The ratio of water to seeds is easy to remember: Use two parts liquid to one part quinoa. Just 1 cup of dry quinoa ultimately yields 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Keep Reading: How to Cook Quinoa

5. Quinoa Is Versatile

In addition to being easy to prepare, we love quinoa because its kitchen versatility makes the possibilities seem endless. Next time you&aposre making a stir-fry, try swapping your usual white rice for quinoa. It takes less time to cook, provides a pleasantly nutty texture and bite, and can even be cooked in a rice cooker.

Though we typically think of quinoa as a savory food, it can also be used in sweet applications, such as pudding or blondies.

If you&aposre bored of your traditional oatmeal breakfast and want to switch things up, quinoa makes a great hot breakfast cereal alternative that will keep you full all morning long. You can also eat quinoa in place of rice in sushi and in place of pasta in pasta salads or soups. For a hearty lunch, toss your salad greens with cooked quinoa to add extra texture and plant-based protein for a more substantial, filling meal. Quinoa is as versatile as you are creative in the kitchen, so don&apost be afraid to experiment for a healthy twist on tasty favorites.