· nutrition

Today, coup d’barre is left in the Andes to discover a food with multiple benefits: quinoa. It is consumed more and more for its nutritional richness and is often associated as a superfood by certain brands. Coup d’barre will tell you more about this famous seed and its nutritional composition by comparing it to various cereals.  

What is quinoa? 

Quinoa is a dry grain which comes from a plant scientifically named Chenopodium quinoa. 

Contrary to popular belief, quinoa is not a cereal (poaceae family) but a pseudo-cereal. It is often confused with a cereal because its nutritional value is so similar, and regularly used like wheat or rice, but it actually belongs to the same family as beet, chard and spinach (from the Chenopodiaceae family or Amaranth according to the classification).  

Quinoa originates from the Andes. It was a staple for the Incas and their descendants who lived in the mountains of Bolivia, Chileand Peru. It has been cultivated in these regions for over 5,000 years. The area around Lake Titicaca is considered to the main origin of quinoa and where the greatest biological diversity of this species is still conserved. Today, quinoa has gained and is still gaining in popularity thanks in particular to its nutritional profile. The cultivation of quinoa is spreading and is now present in more than 70 countries, including France, Belgium, England… 

Note: The oatmeal in your Coup d´barre Ravitos comes from a Belgian producer who also produces quinoa. 

There are different varieties of quinoa, such as white, red, and black. There are no major nutritional differences between these 3 varieties. However, we can note slight nuances in texture and taste. 

White quinoa, also known as yellow, blond or golden, is the most popular and commonly used grain variety. Its taste is sweeter and its texture lighter than the other 2. 

The red has a more pronounced, nutty taste and a firmer grain than the white which holds up better when cooked. It is often the quinoa of choice for cold salads. Black quinoa, on the other hand, tastes more intense than red and white, and takes longer to cook. 

Note: There are still other varieties of quinoa, but less known and more difficult to find. 

Nutritional values:

The nutritional composition of quinoa is very interesting for our health. To study it better, we compared it to the composition of cereals like rice and pasta.  

Note: we have chosen rice and wholemeal pasta in order to have nutritional values that are closer to quinoa, unlike rice and white pasta.  

Comparative table of nutritional intake (per 100g): 

We can notice that quinoa has a caloric value similar to cereals. However, it is distinguished by its richness in proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals.  

It is a very good source of protein, better than other cereals or vegetables due to its excellent amino acid profile. Indeed, in addition to having a large amount of protein, it contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs while legumes and grains are generally low in at least one of the essential amino acids. 

Quinoa is also very rich in fiber, which is important in our diet. They can reduce the risk of many diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease ... or prevent constipation. The rate of fiber present in quinoa is higher than in other grains. However, it remains lower than the rate present in vegetables. 

We can notice another difference in lipids. Quinoa contains more fat than other grains. These lipids are for the most part linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) acids which are good fatty acids essential for the body. 

In addition to protein, fiber and fat, quinoa is richin many vitamins and minerals. We can note a significant contribution of vitamins B and E, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium ... 

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. This pseudo-cereal is therefore very interesting for people having difficulty digesting gluten or for certain people who are gluten intolerant (celiac disease). 

Attention: Not all people with gluten intolerance may tolerate quinoa. While it is not a cereal so it does not contain gluten, however it does contain prolamins (protein that goes into the composition of gluten) which can be toxic in people with gluten intolerance. Some studies have shown that this molecule can stimulate an immune response similar to that activated by the presence of gluten in celiac disease. 

Benefits:

Thanks to this nutritional composition, quinoa helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It has a low glycemic index, which is particularly beneficial for type 2 diabetics. Its nutritional richness helps fight anemia, can help regulate blood sugar, loseweight, lower bad cholesterol, improve digestion ... 

Utilization:

Quinoa can be used in various dishes, you are free to get creative: sweet, salty, hot, cold. It can be used as a cereal, in cakes, soups, transformed into pasta, into a pancake ... 

Coup d’barre will give you 1 delicious recipe for cooking quinoa. 

Quinoa curry and coconut milk:  

Ingredients (for 2 people):  

-1 glass of quinoa  

-1/2 onion  

-400g of zucchini 

-10cl of coconut milk  

-Curry (the amount depends onthe intensity of the curry you have as well as your taste: spicy, mild ...) 

-Parsley 

-Salt/pepper 

-1 small handful of cashew nuts 

Note: if you want, it’s possible to add chicken, shrimps or tofu for vegetarian.  

  1. Cook the quinoa in a saucepan forabout 10 to 15min 
  2. During this time cut half anonion, parsley, and zucchini 
  3. Cook the onion in a pan thanadd the zucchini 
  4. When the zucchini is almostdone, add the coconut milk, curry, salt and pepper. lower the heat and cook foranother 10 minutes stirring regularly.  
  5. Then add the quinoa drained, parsleyand cashew nuts 
  6. Mix and serve hot

Here is a little picture of us enjoying the recipe at the office !

You now know everything about this increasingly coveted little seed. If you like this kind of article, I invite you to go likethe Facebook post and before you go don't forget your Ravito. 

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