Quinoa: properties, recipes, how to use it, contraindications and things to know

Quinoa, what are the properties and how to cook it to enhance its many benefits. Recipes, tips and everything you need to know before consuming it

The quinoa ( quinoa ) is a herbaceous plant that produces edible beans that we can use for our power as if they were cereals. We know this food more closely: health benefits , calories, recipes and things to know before consuming it.

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Quinoa isn’t actually a cereal from a botanical point of view and compared to the latter it has a higher content of amino acids. In fact, unlike cereals and legumes, all 8 essential amino acids are present which make it a complete meal. This is a really interesting feature especially for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and are looking for vegetable sources of protein.

But this isn’t the only property that boasts quinoa .


  • Quinoa, property
  • Quinoa, nutritional values
  • Quinoa, calories
  • Quinoa, glycemic index
  • Things to know before consuming it
  • Quinoa and children
  • Is quinoa sustainable?
  • Quinoa and hunger in the world
  • Where to find quinoa
  • Price of quinoa
  • How to use quinoa
    • Baked quinoa
    • Steamed quinoa
    • Quinoa and vegetables
    • Puffed quinoa
  • Recipes with quinoa

Quinoa, property

Quinoa is a truly rich pseudo-cereal that offers various benefits to those who consume it with a certain regularity, obviously within a healthy and balanced diet.

  • It is gluten-free: everyone can enjoy quinoa and people with celiac disease can consider it a truly advantageous food since quinoa is gluten-free. Its consumption is therefore recommended for those suffering from allergies or gluten intolerances . Quinoa can be used to replace other foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, spelled and barley.
  • Rich in protein:quinoa is an exceptional food from the point of view of the protein profile since, unlike cereals, it contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs. 100 grams of cooked quinoa contain about 4.5 grams of protein.
  • It contains complex carbohydrates and is low in glycemic index:Quinoa is considered a beneficial food because it contains both proteins and carbohydrates in a balanced measure. 100 grams of cooked quinoa bring 21 grams of carbohydrates to our body. Carbohydrates of quinoa are mainly complex carbohydrates, it is therefore a low glycemic index food useful for those who want to keep blood sugar levels under control.
  • Beneficial for the intestine:given the richness in vegetable fibers, quinoa is useful for promoting the regular functioning of the intestine.
  • Superfood: quinoa is a complete and super-nourishing food especially for its wealth of essential amino acids but also because it provides our body with other very useful substances such as calcium and antioxidants.
  • Light but satiating: quinoa is an easily digestible food but at the same time it gives our body a lot of energy and keeps the sense of hunger at bay thanks to its satiating power.
  • Antioxidant:some substances present in quinoa are antioxidants, this pseudoceral therefore contributes to keeping the free radicals responsible for cellular aging at bay.
  • Anyone who is allergic to nickel can use it:quinoa, together with amaranth, is among the foods allowed to those who suffer from nickel allergy and want to follow a detoxifying diet. Here more information.


Quinoa, nutritional values

What are the nutritional values ​​of quinoa? 100 grams of quinoa (uncooked) contain:

  • 6 grams total of fat,
  • 64 grams of carbohydrates,
  • 7 grams of dietary fiber e
  • 14 grams of protein,
  • 47 mg of calcium,
  • 6 mg of iron,
  • 197 mg of magnesium,
  • 563 mg of potassium
  • 457 mg of phosphorus.

Quinoa is also a source of folate and B vitamins . Here more information on the nutritional values ​​of quinoa.

Quinoa, calories

Quinoa is an average energy food, in fact 100 grams of cooked quinoa provide our body with 120 calories, which derive from the carbohydrates and proteins present in quinoa. Quinoa is very low in fat and like all plant-based foods it does not contain cholesterol.

Quinoa, glycemic index

Quinoa has a glycemic index considered low, equal to 35. To make a comparison, keep in mind that the glycemic index of normal well-cooked pasta corresponds to 55.

Things to know before consuming it

  • Quinoa contains saponins : itmust be rinsed very well before consumption otherwise we would find ourselves tasting a bitter-tasting food.
  • It should be cooked well: itis important to know that, in order to make it easy to digest, quinoa must be cooked for the necessary time indicated on the package.
  • It is good to buy it organic and fair trade:quinoa is a food that comes from afar and whose cultivation, in some cases, is not respectful of the environment and of workers engaged in all production phases (see paragraph below) .
  • It is one of the alternatives to wheat that rarely gives problems: allergies and intolerances to quinoa are rare and occur only in predisposed subjects. At the moment quinoa is considered a useful alternative to cereals that contain gluten for those suffering from celiac disease since it is completely gluten-free. The following video presents this and other wheat alternatives that you can alternate in your diet.

Quinoa and children

Many mothers wonder: is quinoa consumption indicated for children? Most experts claim that it is a complete food that can be recommended already in the weaning phase due to its nutritional properties and easy digestibility. Obviously particularly suitable also for children intolerant to gluten or celiac.

Not everyone, however, agrees with this and there are voices out of the choir such as that of Dr. Mozzi according to which quinoa would not be digestible by children under 2 years of age and for this reason it would also be advised against breastfeeding mothers .

Is quinoa sustainable?

Is quinoa cultivation likely to become unsustainable? We had already covered this topic in 2013 . We want to remember that any intensive cultivation with the use of herbicides and pesticides can cause damage to the environment and that in the world intensive agriculture less respectful of ecosystems is linked to the large-scale production of legumes and cereals intended for the production of feed for animals from breeding.

These are legumes and cereals which instead could be used directly to feed the populations in difficulty. As for the cultivation of quinoa, we must remember that there is a virtuous circuit linked to fair trade for agricultural production that is respectful of both the environment and local populations.

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