Quinoa is a whole grain that is increasing in popularity day by day, especially for those who depend on plant foods in their diet, due to its many health benefits and its indispensable nutritional content. And one of the most common ways to use it is the quinoa salad .
Quinoa is a lot like beetroot and spinach . It includes several types, such as red, white, and black quinoa. Quinoa has been grown for thousands of years in South America such as Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. It is widely used, including in preparing quinoa salad dishes, in the United States and England in particular, where it is a good substitute for rice, bulgur, and couscous .
Types of quinoa
- White quinoa: It is the most common type of quinoa, and it has a crisp texture after cooking.
- Red quinoa: This type is best suited for a cold quinoa salad. It needs more chewing than white quinoa, and it tastes better.
- Black quinoa: It is considered to be somewhat crunchy, and tastes sweeter than white and red quinoa, and retains its black color even after cooking.
Uses of quinoa
Quinoa is faster than its counterparts in the cooking process. Among its uses:
- You can eat both the seeds and leaves of quinoa
- They are added to salads
- They are added to soups dishes
- Quinoa flour is used to make some baked goods
Benefits of quinoa
The reason for the widespread consumption of quinoa salad in many countries of the world is because it contains many health benefits, the most prominent of which are:
1. Rich in protein
A cup (185 g) of cooked quinoa provides around 8.14g of protein, which provides a wide range of amino acids, which play a major role in promoting muscle growth and immune activity.
Also read: Protein What are the risks of decreasing and increasing it?
2. Quinoa salad and healthy digestion
Quinoa salad is characterized by its high content of dietary fiber compared to other types of grains. Which in turn helps reduce the risk of many diseases such as high blood pressure , high harmful cholesterol, constipation, and diverticulitis (diverticulitis) .
Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants, such as vitamin E , which helps reduce the risk of eye disorders, coronary heart disease , and some types of cancer. It is also gluten-free, so it is an ideal choice for those who suffer from an allergic reaction to other types of grains that contain gluten.
4. Rich in minerals
Quinoa is also a rich source of important minerals for the body such as iron , magnesium, potassium, and zinc . One cup (185 g) of quinoa provides about 30% of your daily need for magnesium.
On the other hand, quinoa pills contain a substance called phytic acid , which can bind these minerals and reduce their absorption, but you can reduce the phytic acid content and benefit from these minerals as required by soaking quinoa before cooking.
5. Promote tissue growth
Quinoa is high in the amino acid lysine, which mainly aids in tissue growth and repair. So it is a good idea to eat quinoa salad, eat quinoa as a grain, or add it to any of the food dishes.
6. Heart health
Quinoa contains healthy fats, as it is rich in oleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Which makes them play an important role in helping to boost levels of good cholesterol, reduce levels of harmful cholesterol, and fight inflammation, which reduces the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis .
Also read: Cholesterol treatment is your way to protect your heart
Quinoa salad is one of the best salads, especially in the summer. Because it is considered a snack and acid. Usually quinoa salad is served alongside fish, meat or chicken dishes. Or, you can add pieces of chicken or turkey to your salad ingredients as a stand-alone meal.
How to make quinoa salad
The following ingredients for making a quinoa salad are enough for eight, and the preparation method takes 40 minutes.
- 12 cups of water
- A cup and a half of quinoa
- 5 pickled cucumbers, cut into cubes
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- A bunch of chopped parsley
- 2 packets of mint leaves, chopped
- Half a cup of olive oil
- A quarter cup of vinegar
- 1 lemon juice
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 separate dandelion heads
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced, for garnishing
How to prepare quinoa salad
- Boil water in a suitable sized container
- Add quinoa in water and stir once
- Leave the quinoa to a boil over medium heat for about 12 minutes
- Strain the quinoa and rinse well with cold water
- Then shake the sieve well in order to remove moisture
- When it dries, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl
- Add the cucumber pieces, onions , tomatoes, parsley, mint , vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, then stir well.
- Finally, chicory and avocado heads are added
Precautions when using
It is not recommended to eat quinoa pills or quinoa salad for those who suffer from frequent kidney stone problems, because they contain a high percentage of oxalates, which in turn reduces the calcium absorption process.