Even get curious about the food on your plate? Want to get to know your nosh more intimately, from the bottom to the top? Quinoa is one of the most popular nutrition fillers of the modern age, found in salads, bowls and poké all across the globe. But it wasn't always so: this powerful little carb is rich in both history and nutrition and we're here to tell you all about it – with a few dish recommendations thrown in for good measure!
1. No to Grain, Yes to Seed
First up, a little technicality. You know how tomatoes are technically a fruit? Well, quinoa is technically a seed. So while many think of our titular chow as a grain or cereal, the science of classification would disagree. Kinda weird, huh? In fact, its status as a seed is what makes quinoa such a nutritious and health-boosting food – more on that shortly. For now, feast your eyes and ears on a serving of Quinoa Tabbouoleh from Joga. With a mix of fresh parsley, pomegranate, lettuce and feta cheese, this green hunger-solving machine is the perfect accompaniment to a session of philosophical pondering on the strangeness of taxonomy.
2. Quinoa's Old. Like, Really Old
Originally from the hidden depths of the Andes, Quinoa has been a staple in the South American diet for many thousands of years, with evidence of its consumption dating back to 3000 BC. As far as we can tell it was as regular a presence on the plates of the Incas as it is for the Quechua people today, especially in the drier seasons. Luckily for us, however, quinoa is now available all year round - and not just in the Andes! A bowl of Quinoa Vegetable Noodles from Kcal Gourmet combines continental meat and veg for all your personal dining convenience, with a low, low price tag of only 383 calories. Now that's a health food bargain!
3. It's Crazy Nutritious
Sure, we all know quinoa's good for us (it comes in salad bowls after all), but what exactly is it about this little cuisine that makes it so nutritious? Well, for starters it's a seed. That means that every little quinoa contains the substances needed to grow more of itself, to start life and to sustain it. We're talking fats, calcium, carbohydrates and proteins – in fact, quinoa has a massively high protein content, with just one cooked cup providing almost a seventh of your daily need alone. If you're a veggie, vegan or simply a picky eater, get some quinoa in you. The Kale and Quinoa Salad from Clinton St Baking Company and Restaurant is a great example of a way to make the seed even healthier, even tastier and even more nutritious.
4. It's Gluten-Free!
That's right, you heard us: completely, totally, absolutely gluten-free. So long as the rest of a recipe is too, you're in safe hands. With its starchy, rice-like texture and filling mass, quinoa is a great alternative for gluten-avoiders everywhere. Can't eat cereal? Make toast? Fry a pancake? No problem! Order up a plate of Gluten Free Oats and Quinoa Porridge from Eat Well Gluten Free Restaurant instead. Good stuff.
Taste the famous grain! Order quinoa bowls, bakes and healthy chow directly to your door with Deliveroo.