What is Quinoa?

noun: quinoa

a plant of the goosefoot family found in the Andes, where it was widely cultivated for its edible starchy seeds prior to the introduction of Old World grains.
the grain-like seeds of the quinoa, used as food and in the production of alcoholic drinks.

I bought whole grain white, mixed (which includes black) and red.
I bought whole grain white, mixed (which includes black) and red.

I see it everywhere these days, in salads, on Instagram and advertised heavily in organic shops and markets. I knew it was good for you and I thought it tasted great, but up until last night, that is all I really knew! So I decided to spend some time researching and here is what I can tell you about Quinoa;

• It is one of the few plant based sources of complete protein
• It comes in 3 varieties, whole wheat white, red and black
• It is in fact a seed, not a grain
• It provides all 9 essential amino acids
• It is gluten free
• And cholesterol free
• Back in the day the Inca’s referred to it as ‘The Mother Grain’
• The plant that Quinoa comes from is called the Chenopodium (scientific name)
• It is related to beets and spinach
• It is available all year round (yay)

Most importantly;

1 cup of cooked Quinoa (185g) contains only 223 calories and 3.6g of fat!

Music to my ears.

If you didn’t have enough reasons to want to try Quinoa, here is another one. It is very easy to make.


  • 1 cup of Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • Heat in a pan, once boiling reduce to a simmer and leave for 15 – 20 minutes

The serving options are endless. You can use it as a rice or pasta substitute or simply use it to fill out a salad without feeling guilty. I cooked it for the first time the other night and made a brilliant Vegan Superfood Quinoa salad, check out the recipe here.

I went a bit crazy and bought quite a lot of the stuff, so I will continue to post recipes as and when I make them.

In the mean time, there you have it,  a quick introduction to another new favorite of mine.  It’s low in fat, high in nutrients and easy to make.. what is not to like?

Have you tried Quinoa yet? Let me know!

Jess x