Natural Balance Foods

What is Quinoa?


Health food fans are loving quinoa at the moment; you can’t go far in any food store or eatery without this super-seed in stock, but what’s all the fuss about?

Pronounced ‘keen-wa’ (yes, we thought was the other way too!), it brings a whole bunch of goodness to the table and helps transform meals into nutritional powerhouses.

So what is it exactly? 

Grown in South America, quinoa is often mistaken as a whole grain, when in fact it’s a seed! It has been a staple food for ancient civilisations in the region because of its strong nutritional properties, and simplicity to prepare. Since then, it has slowly globalised as more and more people realised its potential and now sits firmly in the superfood hall of fame.

Ok, so what about all this nutrition you keep going on about?

Each and every seed is bursting with good stuff. It’s loaded with calcium which is important for bones and teeth as well as being packed with twice as much protein as rice and barley. Quinoa also gets the full house of amino acids, packing nine of the most important ones which are essential for keeping our bodies in tip-top shape. As if that wasn’t enough, you also get a whole bunch of magnesium, manganese, B Vitamins, dietary fibre and Vitamin E. Not too shabby!

Using it in your food

For vegans, vegetarians, coeliacs and anyone looking to cut down on unhealthy starches, quinoa is a godsend. It’s perfect to have as a side dish alongside the main event, fits well in a range of salads and its gentle taste makes it a great versatile ingredient that doesn’t overstay its welcome. What’s more, because it is high in protein and has a low glycaemic index (GI), using it in your food means you’ll stay fuller and more satisfied from your meals.

We could go on all day about quinoa, but the above should give you an idea on just how it has earned its ‘superfood’ status. Why not grab some at the store, add it to your favourite meals and see for yourself!