You must have come across quinoa as a healthy and natural protein source on various health and food blogs and articles. Making diet changes has become common as people are looking for healthier alternatives to their current eating habits.
Adding quinoa to your diet is a great choice. It is nutritious, gluten-free, and a natural source of protein. You can consume quinoa plainly, or as an alternative to grains in various everyday meals.
Executive chef Lokesh at CAARA recommends the following ways you can add quinoa to your everyday diet.
#1: Eating it plainly
You can simply add quinoa to your diet by eating it plainly.
Quinoa is not a bland, hard, or tasteless grain. It has a scrumptious nutty flavour which makes it an ideal snack. You can boil it in less than 20 minutes and enjoy a quick snack when hunger calls. Plain quinoa is also a great side dish, especially if made with chicken or veg broth instead of water.
It works perfectly as a breakfast alternative, an evening snack, or a healthy side dish during your regular meals. For an uncomplicated and healthy meal, choose plain quinoa.
#2: Substituting quinoa for other grains
When it comes to texture, quinoa is very similar to bulgur wheat. Since it is healthier when compared to traditional choices like wheat, substituting quinoa for some traditional grains is a bit of a no-brainer.
You can cook quinoa by toasting it first. This is done to make its flavour more consistent and authentic. It is then soaked in water and later cooked with herbs and vegetables. Such a dish can be served with a dash of olive oil just before serving.
As you can probably notice, it serves as an automatic alternative to various types of grains. Red quinoa is generally more popular because of its nutty flavour. However, you can also choose white quinoa for a more plain taste palette.
#3: A breakfast meal
We generally consume calorie-rich breakfast meals which are not good for health and low on essential proteins. Quinoa can serve as an excellent breakfast meal alternative for your diet.
You can boil quinoa like oats. Make sure you add twice as much milk and water compared to the amount of quinoa you’re boiling. You can keep cooking until the outer germ separates from the seed.
For a more elaborate breakfast with quinoa, you can add almonds, raisins, and cinnamon to a steaming hot bowl of quinoa. There are various other ingredients you can try out with a versatile grain base like quinoa.
#4: Make your own energy bar
Do you buy energy bars all the time? They’re a fast way to energize when you’re on a schedule and don’t have time for elaborate meals.
Instead of depending on readymade energy bars, you can make some of your own using quinoa. Simply pick some ingredients you like in a typical energy bar like nuts, almonds, dry fruits, chocolate, and so on. Then add at least a bowl of quinoa to the ingredients and mix them thoroughly for consistency.
Once you’ve mixed the ingredients properly, put the mixture in a rectangular container (preferably shaped like an energy bar) and chill it in a refrigerator. Your energy bar should be ready in about an hour.
#5: Stuffing in vegetables
If you’re serious about making quinoa a mainstay in your diet, adding it to meals with stuffed vegetables is a good place to start.
Quinoa can be used as a stuffing in various stuffed vegetable dishes. A light dish like zucchini can become a wholesome meal with a stuffing of quinoa in the mix. To use it as a stuffing, first cook quinoa with garlic and other seasonings. You can then stuff the quinoa into a vegetable of your choice. This can be zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, or any other stuffed vegetable meal you have in mind.
#6: Desert options
Many desert options like pancakes, cookies, or puddings can be made more nutritious with quinoa. You can simply add cooked or blended quinoa to your dessert by using it as a substitute to flour.
Also see: Quinoa flour at CAARA
This can make your usual desert options far more healthier. An addition of protein to your desert palette can be a step in the right direction, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
You can always be creative with quinoa. Just about every aspect of your everyday diet can be made healthier with the introduction of quinoa.
Its nutty flavour makes it a more practical alternative, allowing you to not compromise between health and taste. The quality of your quinoa dish naturally depends on where you order it from. CAARA offers seamless organic food delivery that can allow you to get the best quality quinoa in and around Delhi.