Quinoa. To those who are already familiar with this incredible food, its versatility will come as no surprise, yet we believe that even the greatest lover of quinoa could still be surprised by the many options it presents. Today we want to share some of those incredible options with you. If you have never heard of quinoa then it may be hard enough to pronounce it, let alone know what to do with it. Fear not, we are here to help with every little bit of work that is required to unravel the mystery that is quinoa.
Let’s start off with the basics, how to pronounce quinoa. The majority of people who are unfamiliar with the word will attempt to say it like ki-no-ah. That is wrong and if you are trying to impress your vegetarian date with your knowledge of the nonmeat world, you will slip on the first hurdle. Instead, quinoa is pronounced KEEN-wah. I know, I know, it doesn’t look like that but trust me it is true. The word actually came to the English language from the Spanish word kinuwa pronounced keen-u-wah. Over time we dropped the ‘u’ sound and kept the keen-wah.
Now that one mystery is solved let’s move on to the bigger mystery, how to use this strange food. Quinoa is a seed but it is often treated more like a grain, and that is really how you should think of it. Anywhere you use grains today (bread and baking for a start) is a great place to think about using quinoa, but there is so much more to it.
Using quinoa as flour is the easiest way to start to get creative. From there anything that you would use flour for can be replaced with quinoa. You can imagine how great this news is for anyone who has issues digesting gluten. I don’t have issues with gluten but I will often still opt for gluten because of how healthy it is. My favorite go-to snack is chocolate and hazelnut cookies using quinoa as the flour base.
As an example of how versatile this ingredient is, my next favorite way to use it is for guacamole. I know you have always thought that avocado, lime, and tomato was the best way to make a great guac but I encourage you to try a quinoa and mango guacamole. I am certain that you will not be disappointed.
For those gluten-free pizza lovers, quinoa offers you a great way to indulge in pizza without gluten and in a healthier way. Just keep in mind that for this recipe we soak the quinoa around 12 hours in advance, so think ahead for this winner.
I am a sucker for a snack. While I really love my main meals in a day I will always find something to nibble at. For years my weakness was muffins and they were starting to really show around my waistline, so I switched to broccoli and quinoa bites. I know what you are thinking, how can that compare to a blueberry muffin. Well, it not only compares, but it also surpasses and the reason is a generous serving of cheese in the mix. These savory treats are a fantastic way to satisfy that need for a snack in your life.
I know before I tried quinoa I was not sold on it. When you hear about these strange grains and seeds you can’t help but think that your life was fine without them, so does it really need them in it now? Of course, they are not a superfood (that doesn’t actually exist) and will not change your life but they will give you a variety of food options and make your overall diet healthier, surely that is reason enough to try?