Can you microwave quinoa?
Quinoa is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can add to your healthy diet.
Fast and easy to prepare. Plus you can add it to almost every dish no matter if you want to add it to your soup or any other food.
But, first things first. How do you pronounce quinoa? If you are not sure what the correct pronunciation is, it´s pronounced “Keen-wah”.
Quinoa was domesticated for human consumption about 4000 years ago in South America. It was then recovered again as a “superfood” 10 years ago. Quinoa was and is hyped as a superfood because of its nutrient density and protein components.
The trend maintained and made quinoa the most popular health food.
What exactly is quinoa?
Quinoa is a whole grain carbohydrate. It´s a complete protein as well, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
There is another fact that makes the grain special: quinoa is gluten-free. If you are gluten intolerant quinoa is a good choice for you.
Strictly speaking, we are talking about a seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. That makes it not a grain. The definition of whole grain is “seeds extracted from grasses” not plants. Oats and barely instead are whole grains, they are extracted from grasses.
We consider it a whole grain because of the way we eat it. It resembles a whole grain.
So even if it is slightly untrue you can call quinoa a whole grain.
What about quinoa nutrition facts?
The nutrition facts are impressive. It´s rich in B vitamins, protein, zinc, iron and magnesium. Overall the grain is considered a perfect source of fiber compared to refined grains.
Quinoa is a perfect food for weight-loss. It is high in protein and low in fat. And as I mentioned before it is gluten-free. (If you want to know more about the risks of a gluten-free diet read more here.)
See how quinoa holds up in comparison to rice and oats.
(I chose rice and oats because they are popular and often eaten when you follow a healthy diet.)
|per 100 gr.||Quinoa||Rice||Oats|
|zinc μ gr.||2.500||1.600||4.300|
If you are on a keto diet you might also be interested in quinoa carbs:
58 gr. carbs and 7 gr. fiber (per 100 gr.)
For people following a standard keto diet, their goal is around 20-50 gr. of carbs per day. However, most of the time you want to save your carb intake for the hidden carbs found in your meals throughout the day.
As you can see, I don´t want to promote quinoa as the best superfood on earth. It has a lot of great nutritional values but there are also more amazing foods that are not hyped so much. It always depends on your goals. For example, if you are deficient in zinc oats are for sure the better choice to get rid of your deficiency.
But the table also shows that quinoa is a solid allrounder and always a good choice!
Is quinoa better than rice or oats or any other grains?!
Let me say it like this … just because a food has advantages over another food doesn´t mean you should avoid the other foods for a lifetime. Always vary between different foods to make sure you get the whole range of nutrients.
Because there is no such food that can do it all!!
How to microwave quinoa
We all have busy lives and sometimes we use that as an excuse to have fast food instead of a healthy and nutritious meal.
You can cook quinoa in a few minutes in the microwave. So, lack of time is not an excuse to not eat quinoa.
To get ready to start, you need:
- microwave (obviously)
- quinoa (try different colors of quinoa and see which one you like best)
- high sided dish or use the measuring cup if microwave safe
- plate (to cover up the cup)
- rinse quinoa under warm water to remove residue
- place quinoa and water in the bowl, for every cup of quinoa use 2 cups of water
- cover up the bowl with a plate
- cook it now for about 6 minutes, stir, and microwave 2 or 3 minutes more
Sometimes people report overcooking of their quinoa and making a mess in the microwave. To prevent the messy disaster don´t forget to cover the bowl with a plate.
For your first try to cook quinoa in the microwave I recommend you should not choose the highest temperature. The devices are different and so there is no setting that would fit every single microwave.
What color of quinoa is the healthiest?
You might wonder if there is a difference between white, black and red quinoa. Here are some more specifics about the colors:
- most common sort of quinoa
- has the most delicate taste
- fluffy texture
- richer, taste
- slightly chewier texture
- nutty flavor
- keeps its shape better after cooking
- kind of an earthy flavor
- slightly sweeter
You can either go for one color of quinoa of you can buy a tri-color mix. It contains all three colors and looks nice and delicious in every meal.
As of the nutritional value of the three colors, there are slight differences but overall they are all very healthy. There is no “wrong” or “unhealthy” color you can choose.