What Is Quinoa? 15 Insanely Cool (But True) Facts

Karen Patten

Quinoa. It’s pronounced “KEEN-wah.” Say it with me – “KEEN-wah.” “KEEN-wah.” There are so many great things about quinoa. I’m nerdy about food and as I started to learn about quinoa – it’s really amazing! Its versatility and ease of use in recipes is virtually unmatched. Quinoa possesses many health benefits, so you can definitely find a way to use it in your cooking routine.

What is quinoa? It’s all the buzz - How do you cook it? Are there healthy benefits? Easy quinoa recipes are everywhere - from soups, to tacos and desserts. Quinoa is perfect any time of day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. #quinoa #whatisquinoa www.themidlifemamas.com

What Is Quinoa?

* “KEEN-wah” isn’t a grain. It’s a seed that is more closely related to spinach and tumbleweeds!

* Saponins form a covering around quinoa seeds. Saponins can have a bitter flavor, so always rinse quinoa before you cook it. Fascinating fact: saponins have a distinct foaming characteristic. I use soap nuts (soap berries) to do my laundry – and the soap nuts contain saponins and that’s what cleans our clothes! You can read more about how I use soap nuts here:

Related Post That You May Also Like: Clean Laundry Naturally Without Toxic Chemicals

*The “Q” seed is naturally gluten free.

*Quinoa was first used as a food source between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago in the Andean region surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. Impress at cocktail parties with that fun little fact!

Nutritional Value of Quinoa

*One cup cooked contains 5 grams of fiber – or 21% of your daily recommended intake.

*Quercetin (Another Q word – next time you play Scrabble, you can thank me.) is a flavonoid with powerful antihistamine properties. Quercetin has been found to stabilize mast cells to help reduce anxiety and allergic reactions. If you’ve read my post about allergies, you know that my seasonal allergies have been a life-long problem. This year, the combination of quercetin and lemon, lavender, and peppermint essential oils almost totally relieved my runny nose, itchy red eyes, and sneezing. Next year, I’ll be upping my quinoa consumption!

Related Post That You May Also Like: 5 Best Sources of Natural Allergy Relief

*Quinoa is a complete protein – which is hard to find from plant sources. This means that it possesses all of the essential amino acids that we cannot produce and that we must get from our diet. It contains all nine essential amino acids.

Related Post You May Also Like: Your Best Ally To Fight Sugar Cravings

*For maximum nutrient absorption, soaking and/or sprouting quinoa before cooking is advisable. This will reduce its phytic acid content thereby making all of its nutrients more bioavailable – or available for our bodies to use.

*Quinoa is a great source of the vitamins Thiamine (31% RDA), Riboflavin (27% RDA), B6 (38% RDA), and Folate (46% RDA).

*Quinoa are a great source of the minerals Iron (35% RDA), Magnesium (55% RDA), Phosphorous (65% RDA), and Zinc (33% RDA)

Related Post You May Also Like: What Helps Reduce Sugar Cravings

Fun Facts About Quinoa

*The Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Orginization designated 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa.

*Between 2006 and early 2013 quinoa crop prices tripled!

*Quinoa was a sacred crop for the Incas who used it religious ceremonies. During the Spanish conquest of South America, the colonists forbade quinoa and  instead forced the Incas to grow wheat.

*Because of its nutritional value, quinoa is being considered as a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for human space flights of long durations.

Why I Love Quinoa

My favorite things about quinoa are:

It’s quick, healthy, and easy to fix (and what’s not to love about that daily dietary trifecta?)

It’s versatile. It can be used to make almost anything: salads, soups, stews, cookies, chocolate cake – yes, you read that right – chocolate cake, muffins, pancakes, quinoa egg cups, breakfast cereal, fudge, slow cooker quinoa, popper bites, fritters, meatballs, bakes, bites, balls – you get the picture.

My friend Wendy, at www.wendypolisi.com is the queen of all things quinoa. She has pulled together over 600 of her own recipes to share on her Quinoa Pinterest Board. Check it out, re-pin a few that you want to try – and let me know what you picked!

And, third, I love quinoa for salads and soups, especially in winter. They still feel “farm to table” fresh and bright like the delicious salads of summer, but they have a more warming and hearty winter-like quality to them.

I love a beautiful and practical serving bowl for a delicious quinoa dish like the one pictured! I also have my favorite salad serving utensils that also work perfectly with a quinoa salad!

Oh, and finally,

Don’t Forget To Pin This Post To Come Back to Later:

What is quinoa? It’s all the buzz - How do you cook it? Are there healthy benefits? Easy quinoa recipes are everywhere - from soups, to tacos and desserts. Quinoa is perfect any time of day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. #quinoa #whatisquinoa www.themidlifemamas.com

15 Comments

  1. Your Complete Natural Allergy Relief Resource on April 19, 2015 at 7:03 am

    […] that serve to make allergy symptoms miserable. Great dietary sources of quercetin are apples and quinoa. You can also find quercetin in a supplement form on line or in your local health food […]



  2. Nell on April 23, 2015 at 2:23 am

    Interesting facts — thanks for sharing!



  3. Jennifer on April 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks for this post! I think sometimes people just cook rice and grains just like they do pasta, lol, and it’s good to have a resource for proper cooking!



    • Karen Patten on May 2, 2015 at 4:00 am

      You’re welcome! Enjoy!



  4. Jody @easypeasymom on May 7, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I am all about quinoa too! I have been using it in tons of recipes lately, I love how versatile it is.



    • Karen Patten on May 9, 2015 at 4:09 am

      I’ll use it for just about everything in the summer!



  5. Deborah Davis on May 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I love quinoa so I am delighted that you shared this valuable and interesting information with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party! I am pinning and sharing!



  6. Elaine Hodges on June 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for linking this to the Healthy Living Link Party. We look forward to you being a co-host.



    • Karen Patten on June 4, 2015 at 12:16 am

      Thank you! I’m really looking forward to co-hosting and checking out lots of new sites!



  7. Healthy Living Link Party #14 - on June 3, 2015 at 8:11 am

    […] chose 15 Insane (But True) Things about Quinoa by SpOIL My Family – “I loved this because quinoa is one of my go-to foods when it […]



  8. […] chose 15 Insane (But True) Things about Quinoa by SpOIL My Family – “I loved this because quinoa is one of my go-to foods when it […]



  9. Healing Mama on October 30, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    thanks for sharing, I love quinoa!



  10. […] protein for vegetarians: eggs, dairy, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, green peas, nuts, nut butters, quinoa, beans, chickpeas, edamame, broccoli, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, buckwheat, and […]



  11. Healthy Living Link Party June 3, 2015 on December 18, 2017 at 8:22 am

    […] chose 15 Insane (But True) Things about Quinoa by SpOIL My Family – “I loved this because quinoa is one of my go-to foods when it […]



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Hi, I’m Karen, the Atlanta mama, writer, and creator at Intentional Family Life. I’m a passionate advocate for intentional living so that you can experience all that you deserve for yourself and your family. Here, I inspire moms to chose what matters most and then to only do the things that move them closer to what matters most. Read More About Karen…

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