Quinoa is a pretty big deal here at YogaEarth. In addition to being the foundation ingredient in our deliciously addicting Keen-Wah Decadence vegan organic protein bars, it’s an incredibly healthy food we like to eat in as many ways as possible! It’s popularity here, and around the world is well deserved too. Quinoa is one of the healthiest grains, that’s actually not a grain at all but actually a seed, available to the present day eater.
Once treasured like gold in ancient Incan societies, quinoa provides a laundry-list of health benefits that only add to its delicious mildly creamy flavor and fluffy-crunchy texture. In case you’re not familiar, here are some of its most redeeming qualities:
- A complete protein source
- An especially rich source of lysine, an amino acid that’s essential for tissue growth and repair
- A good source of magnesium, which helps regulate muscle function, repair and relaxation
- Rich in riboflavin, a nutrient that is necessary for proper energy production in your cells
- Full of cleansing, filling, heart-healthy fiber
- A good source of manganese, which is a cofactor for antioxidant function in the cells
- A low-glycemic food
- Naturally gluten-free
That said, what makes or breaks a good food is really how it tastes. Luckily quinoa is an extremely versatile ingredient that has a mild and appealing flavor and pairs well with a huge variety of flavors. From chocolate to pesto, it can be paired with just about everything and still taste great.
So, as we kick off two new flavors of our Keen-Wah Decadence bars and continue to spread our love for quinoa, we want to share some of our favorite ways to use this great grain in healthy summer meals.
Get quinoa creative with these 5 fun suggestions for using quinoa in your summer meals and stay tuned for recipes all summer long!
- Use quinoa in place of noodles in your favorite pasta salad. It works especially well with a combination of fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
- Use cooked quinoa to thicken fresh vegetables soups. Whether cold or hot, add a few scoops of quinoa before you puree your fresh veggies into soup and it will provide a protein boost while thickening and creating a creamy consistency without using dairy products.
- Cook a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and keep in the refrigerator. The chilled grain makes a great addition to salads and wraps and is a quick and easy foundation for a healthy lunch.
- Also try using cooked and cooled quinoa in place of your regular breakfast cereal. Mix with dried and/or fresh fruit, nuts and your milk of choice for a refreshing and much more nourishing breakfast.
- Add it to pancakes or other baked goods for a great texture and nutrient boost.
For a sweet quinoa treat make sure you try YogaEarth’s new Coconut Almond and Cayenne Cinnamon Keen-Wah Decadence bars. This line of quinoa products is a perfect healthy indulgence you can pack with you on all your summer adventures!