You can prepare delicious healthy salads using quinoa, taking advantage of all the benefits of this superfood that you surely have at home.
Quinoa is used as a cereal, although it is not really. That is why it is also called a pseudo-grain, it is the seed of the quinoa plant.
Since it is not a type of grain, it does not contain gluten. Therefore, it is ideal for people suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Quinoa is naturally native to South America. It is grown mainly on the plateaus of Bolivia and Peru and is an important source of food for the local population.
Quinoa has a crunchy texture and slightly nutty flavor that pairs nicely with other foods. The most interesting thing is that it does not contain gluten and is one of the few foods that provides good amounts of the nine essential amino acids. Dare to enjoy it through these healthy salads.
Nutritional value of quinoa
Some of the properties of quinoa make it a healthier alternative to prepare delicious salads. The following properties are involved:
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Fat: 4 grams.
- Copper: 18% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
- Fiber: 5 grams.
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily amount (RDA).
- Folate: 19% of the RDA.
- Iron: 15% of the CDR.
- Potassium at 9% of the RDA.
- It contains all 9 essential amino acids, and in addition, these are also in an almost ideal ratio.
- Quinoa has more than 10% of the recommended daily dose of vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
- It has a low glycemic index (35), which means that carbohydrates are slowly converted to glucose by the body (but more on that later).
Rich in omega 3 fatty acids
Because quinoa is a seed, it contains more omega-3 fatty acids than grains. There are 6.1 g of fatty acids in 100 g of quinoa, of which 0.7 g are saturated fatty acids. It is mainly palmitic acid.
Many people eat quinoa due to its protein content. The special thing about quinoa is that It contains all 9 essential amino acids and these are in a good proportion. This makes it an excellent plant-based source of protein for vegetarians, vegans, and strength athletes.
1. Healthy Quinoa, Tomato, and Basil Salads
With these ingredients we will get a salad full of antioxidants, in addition to being an alternative that is low in calories, which makes it an excellent alternative to follow a slimming diet.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil (45 ml)
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa (370 g)
- 2 fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (15 ml)
- 20 fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First, cook the quinoa in water for 15 to 20 minutes over low heat.
- When it’s ready, drain it and pour it into a salad bowl.
- Next, add the fresh tomatoes and chopped basil.
- Finally, prepare a dressing with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle it over the salad.
2. Quinoa salad with chives and corn
Quinoa also contains many minerals and trace elements. It generally contains more minerals than brown rice. In this combination we can get a salad that provides a lot of energy, ideal to consume accompanied by a grilled chicken breast.
- 2 cups of cooked corn
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 3 finely chopped chives
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- The first thing you should do is mix the corn together with the quinoa and the chopped chives.
- Then, make a vinaigrette with lemon juice, melted butter, salt and pepper.
- Pour it over the salad, mix well and enjoy.
3. Quinoa and avocado salad
By combining the properties of quinoa with those of avocado, this salad becomes the best alternative to add to your diet.
- 1 cup of quinoa (185 g)
- ¼ cup olive oil (62 ml)
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (62 ml)
- 2 tomatoes cut into squares
- ½ cup of chopped parsley (100 g)
- ½ red onion
- 1 ripe avocado
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To start, cook the quinoa in a pot of water. Once it reaches its boiling point, lower the heat, cover the pot and let it cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion in a deep bowl (all previously chopped).
- Later, add the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- When the quinoa is ready, drain it and mix it with the other ingredients.
- Lastly, sprinkle the chopped parsley and add the diced avocado.
Lose weight thanks to the slow carbohydrates in quinoa
Quinoa is often used as a substitute for rice. When you compare quinoa to rice, the first thing you notice is that quinoa contains fewer carbohydrates. 64g carbs per 100g compared to 78g in rice.
The most important thing here is that the carbohydrates in quinoa are digested more slowly and are converted into glucose.
The glycemic index (GI) is used to indicate how quickly carbohydrates are converted to glucose and how much they influence blood sugar. The higher this value, the faster the blood sugar will rise due to the food in question.
So now you know, if you want to use quinoa to add it to your plan to lose weight, you can go for the quinoa salad recipe option 1 and 3.
- Liu, W., Zhang, Y., Qiu, B., Fan, S., Ding, H., & Liu, Z. (2018). Quinoa whole grain diet compromises the changes of gut microbiota and colonic colitis induced by dextran Sulfate sodium in C57BL/6 mice. Scientific reports, 8(1), 14916. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33092-9 [Enlace]
- Li, L., Lietz, G., Bal, W., Watson, A., Morfey, B., & Seal, C. (2018). Effects of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Consumption on Markers of CVD Risk. Nutrients, 10(6), 777. doi:10.3390/nu10060777 [Enlace]