Though it is an ancient crop, quinoa has reached superfood status only recently. It’s now a popular substitute for white rice and a non-animal protein option for vegans and vegetarians.
Here’s some more interesting information about what quinoa is:
It’s pronounced as “KEEN-wah,” not “KWEE-NO-ah.”
Although it is dubbed as the “mother of all grains,” quinoa is actually a seed. Chenopodium quinoa is a native crop of the Inca Empire in South America. The herbaceous plant is grown for its edible seeds. Its young leaves are also nutritious and can be eaten as a vegetable similar to spinach (to which it is botanically related).
Quinoa is a complete protein since it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot make.
Every cup of cooked quinoa provides:
- 222 Calories
- 8.14 g Protein
- 5.18 g Fiber
- 3.55 g Fat (of which 0.42 is saturated)
- 39.4 g Carbohydrate
The same amount contains the following nutrients:
Quinoa is gluten free and loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. It is a low-GI food which keeps you feeling full for longer and helps control your blood sugar level.
Kinds of Quinoa
There are more than 120 different types of quinoa. But what you’ll usually find in groceries are white, red and black quinoa. These are sold as whole grain, flakes and flour forms. Quinoa is also sold in tri-color.
Does color matter? Yes, but only in terms of flavor and texture.
White quinoa has a mild nutty flavor that does not overpower other ingredients in a recipe. It also has a lighter and fluffier texture and it cooks quicker than colored varieties.
Black quinoa is crunchier and has a sweeter and earthier taste. Red quinoa has a good bite and holds its shape better when cooked. It’s often used in salads.
Where to Buy Quinoa in Cebu
Quinoa can easily be found in major supermarkets in Cebu:
- Ayala Metro Supermarket
- Rustans Supermarket Fresh (also in Ayala Center Cebu)
- SM City Supermarket
- SM Seaside Supermarket
Healthy Options stocks a wider variety of quinoa products. You can find their stores here:
- Ayala Center Cebu – Level 3, New Wing
- SM City Cebu – Upper Ground Floor, North Wing
If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you can buy cooked quinoa meals before committing to buying your own stash. WholefoodCebu and Wellness Land Vegan Cafe and Health Food Store are only two of many places that sell it.
Quinoa Price in Cebu
- White Quinoa 600g – P479.75 (White Quinoa Price for 100g is P79.95)
- Vitalia Quinoa Seed 250g – P546 (Price for 100g is P218.4)
- Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa 396g – P731 (Price for 100g is P184.59)
How to cook Quinoa
Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice or any other cereal grain. Most packaged quinoa has been rinsed (a.k.a. processed) and is ready to cook. The rinsing process gets rid of the bitter natural compound (saponin) that coats the dried seeds.
Here’s the quinoa recipe for perfect, fluffy goodness:
- Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Drain well.
- Add quinoa and liquid in a pot. Bring to boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until all liquid is absorbed (10-20minutes depending on how much you’re cooking).
- Take the pot off the heat, cover, and let steam for 5 minutes.
- Take the lid off and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season to taste.
You know your quinoa is ready when those curly “tails” or the germ pop out from the seed.
Tip: Use twice as much liquid as the amount of quinoa (e.g. 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water). To add more flavor, use low-sodium stock instead of water or add olive oil and salt to cooked quinoa.
About the author
Hey, it’s Chenzi! A writer made in Cebu. Stringing words is my bread and butter, but baking and mothering my 3-year-old are what feed my soul. I have an insatiable thirst for learning.