Types of Quinoa

Quinoa is an amazing superfood that came to us from South America. Some parts of the United States are growing quinoa now, but quinoa can be tough to grow unless you are in the perfect conditions for quinoa to thrive. I haven’t had much luck growing quinoa yet.

Regardless of where it comes from, quinoa tastes great and is so good for you. There are different varieties of quinoa so let’s talk about the types of quinoa and how to cook them.

Types and Varieties of Quinoa

One question that often crops up is about the different types of quinoa. Most people are familiar with the standard cream colored seed type of quinoa. This is still the most common form of quinoa that is sold in supermarkets here. There are, however, other varieties available as red quinoa and black quinoa.

The health food chains sometime have the red quinoa variety on sale but very rarely. The red quinoa is slightly crunchier and has a bit more of a bitter flavor. I much prefer it to the cream variety but only have it when I can get hold of it.

The other type of quinoa is black quinoa which I have yet to try. I understand from a supplier that this type is not grown as much because it is harder to grow commercially. I have also heard that the people who grow black quinoa only sell it locally because it is so good.

How To Cook Quinoa?

When cooking each of these types of quinoa there is no difference what ever. You still use 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water and bring to the boils. Then just simmer for 12 – 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed into the quinoa seeds. Of course the different colors add a dynamic look to your meals and the red variety of quinoa certainly looks very attractive on the plate.

By-Products Of Quinoa

You can now get quinoa flour and quinoa flakes which allow you to bake with quinoa much easier. The flour is quite oily and cannot be used as a like for like replacement for wheat flour, but there is quinoa pasta (which is really quite good).

Organic quinoa flakes can be eaten as a cereal or used in cookie recipes. It works very well in this form and my favorite tray bake tastes stunning – though I say so myself (get that recipe here).

More recently I have heard of quinoa powder. I still haven’t seen this near me. There are shops selling quinoa bread which is like rye bread. Quinoa is being used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals and snack bars which must mean that it is finally getting recognized as a great versatile food for all occasions.

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