Quinoa rose to stardom on the back of the gluten-free diet wave and has not left the spotlight ever since. Although the popular protein-rich food grain is a pseudo-cereal (botanically related to spinach!), quinoa is being consumed by an increasingly large number of people around the world, after word got around of its status as a ‘superfood’. Quinoa is not a ‘hippie’ grain anymore and health freaks around the world are recognising the potential of this gluten-free food, not just because of its strong nutritional profile, but also because of its versatility. It belongs to the Amaranth family as is evident from the qualities that both the food grains share and although it was first used to feed livestock, human consumption of this cereal is also thousands of years old.
From snacks to salads, quinoa can be used to add the punch of protein and complex carbohydrates to a whole range of dishes. In terms of texture, quinoa could do great wonders too. Nutritionally speaking, 100 grams of quinoa provides 64 grams of carbohydrates with 7 grams of fibre, 14 grams of protein and 368 Kcal of energy (as per data by the United States Department of Agriculture). It is also rich in a host of vitamins, including Vitamin B9 or folate and choline. The latter is important in reducing risks of liver disease, atherosclerosis and neurological disorders. You may use quinoa to make delicious and nutritious grain salads.