Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF QUINOA?
Quinoa as a food dates back thousands of years when the Incas first started to experiment with the quinoa seed as food source. In modern times we now understand just how valuable a food source Quinoa really is, here are just a few of the benefits of Quinoa:
- Quinoa is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids.
- Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains and can help to combat high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Quinoa is a great source of iron and can help keep red blood cells healthy.
- Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), a vitamin that improves muscle and brain cell metabolism.
IS QUINOA A GRAIN?
Quinoa is not a grain nor is it a cereal, though it can be prepared as a substitute for both. The super food is actually a seed harvested from the goosefoot plant and is more closely related to spinach and beets than grains or cereals.
WHAT IS ORGANIC FOOD AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
'Organic Food' refer to agricultural products that have been produced without the use of man-made fertilizers or pesticides. In many regions Organic Food will also mean the products are GMO free and have not been exposed to radiation.
SHOULD YOU ALWAYS EAT QUINOA COOKED? ARE THERE ANY ADVANTAGES TO EATING IT UNCOOKED?
Uncooked Quinoa has all the same nutritional benefits as cooked Quinoa, however due to the seeds protective shell, the uncooked seeds need to be cracked or ground before consumption.
If this shell is still intact when swallowed, the majority of the quinoa seeds will simply pass through your body without being digested and you will miss out on all the fabulous nutritional benefits.
WHEN YOU ADD QUINOA TO A RECIPE, SHOULD YOU COOK IT FIRST?
This will largely depend on the meal you are preparing. If the dish has sufficient liquid and a cooking time over 20 minutes (such as a veggie chili), then you can add raw (uncooked) quinoa directly and let it cook in the dish. If the dish is dry and doesn't require cooking (quinoa in a salad) then it should be cooked separately first. In most cases the recipe will clearly outline the best way to prepare the Quinoa.
DO I HAVE TO RINSE QUINOA SEEDS?
Our quinoa seeds are thoroughly rinsed and cleaned before packing and can be added direct to any recipe straight out of the package.
I OVERCOOKED MY QUINOA. WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
Don’t worry, these things happen, luckily overcooked (or extra-fluffy quinoa) can still be used in many delicious recipes. It works well with blender recipes, such as smoothies or cake batters, in scrambled eggs, or added to your breakfast cereals or salads during the week.
The quinoa itself can be blended into a thick and creamy texture, where it is useful in baby foods, as a soup thickener or even as a custard or pudding dessert.
CAN I FREEZE LEFTOVER COOKED QUINOA OR COOK IT THEN FREEZE IT FOR FUTURE MEALS?
Yes you can! We suggest measuring the cooked quinoa into resealable freezer bags in single meal portions for maximum convenience. For the best freshness and flavor, we recommend quinoa be frozen for no more than one month.
DOES QUINOA FLOUR HAVE THE SAME NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS AS QUINOA SEEDS?
Yes, quinoa flour is simply the product of grinding quinoa seeds into a fine powder. Our flours have all the same nutritional benefits as regular quinoa seeds but is much easier to include in your day-to-day recipes.
I HAVE PURCHASED BOTH WHITE AND RED QUINOA. DO I COOK THEM BOTH IN THE SAME MANNER AND CAN THEY BE USED INTERCHANGEABLY?
You can certainly cook both types of quinoa using the same method. Some people prefer to cook red quinoa slightly longer and with a bit more water, to soften the seeds tougher shell but this is more personal preference. We recommend experimenting with a few methods to discover what you like best.
IS IT POSSIBLE, OR PRACTICAL, TO COOK QUINOA IN A MICROWAVE OVEN?
There are a wide range of cooking techniques to prepare quinoa but based on our experience microwave ovens do not produce the best results.
Reheating quinoa in a microwave is a personal preference but you may find that many quinoa recipes do not require reheating at all and are just as delicious cold.
CAN YOU COOK QUINOA IN A RICE COOKER?
Absolutely, and it's one of favourite ways to prepare! Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking white rice and you'll have light fluffy quinoa in no time. Just remember that quinoa more than triples in volume when cooked so be sure to leave plenty of room in your cooker.
IS QUINOA GOOD FOR THOSE WITH GLUTEN-INTOLERANCE?
Quinoa does not contain gluten and is a common grain substitute in many gluten free recipes. When combined with other gluten-free ingredients, you can make some fantastic meals.
We only use completely gluten-free facilities where many other quinoa manufacturers process several different grains and other products causing cross-contamination. This allows us to declare our quinoa gluten-free. Pure Organic Foods has worked closely with the Canadian Gluten-Free Certification Program and are fully certified.
I AM A VEGETARIAN. CAN I BENEFIT FROM EATING QUINOA?
Our quinoa is certified vegan so everyone can enjoy our products. Quinoa is a terrific non-animal protein source, and provides all eight essential amino acids. It is highly digestible and versatile food product that allows vegetarians to increase their meal options.
CAN I EAT QUINOA IF I AM ON DIET?
Yes! Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate that provides energy throughout the day. In the popular points-based weight-loss programs, a serving of 1 cup (which is a lot) of cooked quinoa is equal to 3 points.
IS QUINOA GOOD FOR DIABETICS?
Quinoa is a great food for diabetics as it has a low glycemic index and is a complex carbohydrate that digests slowly and helps maintain proper insulin levels. The complete nutrition of quinoa also provides many of your daily vitamins and minerals. Ensure you ask your doctor any questions you have about maintaining proper blood sugar levels.
HOW DOES QUINOA COMPARE WITH PRODUCTS THAT ARE “ENRICHED” WITH THE SAME MINERALS AND VITAMINS?
When products are “enriched,” it means that minerals or vitamins are added during the product’s processing and either are not natural to the product or were depleted during processing.
Quinoa is a complete protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids) and is naturally loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is simply one of nature’s perfectly created nutrient-rich foods.
I HAVE JUST STARTED USING QUINOA. WHAT TYPE OF RECIPE SHOULD I START WITH?
The best choice for starting out cooking with quinoa is to use quinoa seeds (rather than flakes or flour). Quinoa seeds are generally the least expensive and will introduce you to the flavor of quinoa. Check out some of our favourite recipes here!