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What on earth is quinoa?!

January 5, 2016

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of quinoa before. I’ve even eaten it. But I didn’t really know what it was, or why it’s supposed to be good for you. So I decided to do some research because I’m trying to be healthier this year. If you’re unsure what quinoa is too, read on and we can learn together!

So, Wikipedia states that “Quinoa is a species of the goosefoot genus”. That sounds interesting. It goes on to say “it’s an edible seed similar to buckwheat and is also closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds.” Now, that is a strange mix of species in my opinion, but what do I know about nature – not much.


Is it just me or does that look like something you wouldn’t really want to put in your food? Well, apparently we all should. So why is it good for us? Well, here are a few reasons I’ve found.

It contains a lot of nutrients

The website states that one cup of quinoa contains the following:

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.

It is gluten free

Now, I don’t think I’m gluten intolerant, but there have been some signs that I could be reacting a bit to gluten, so perhaps it could be a good idea for me to cut gluten out a bit to see if it makes any difference. I guess quinoa could be a good thing to add to my meals to help with this.

It’s a weight-loss-friendly food

Quinoa is apparently high in protein, which can both increase metabolism and keep you full for longer to prevent you from snacking. That sounds like something I’d really find useful. One problem I have with eating salads and things like that is that it only fills me up temporarily, and I then need to have a snack to stay full until the next meal. I guess I’ll try to chuck some quinoa into my food to see if I notice any difference.

It’s easy to incorporate into your diet

Is it though? I guess if you know what it goes well with it might be easy. But if you’re anything like me and don’t even know what it is, it’s not that easy! But now that I know a bit more about it, I guess I’ll also do some research to find some good recipes.

Let’s do that now!

Quinoa cakes

Quinoa cakes

Now, I’m not going to lie, that looks pretty yum to me. I’ll definitely give them a go I think. Check out for the recipe.

Quinoa Avocado and Apple Detox Salad


Oh my gosh, that actually looks really good! That will probably be the first recipe I try. You can find the recipe for this one on

Mushroom & Quinoa Sauté


I reckon this one could be quite nice as a side to your meat! I do love mushrooms, so I’m sure I would like this dish. Check out this recipe on

Ok, well I’ve certainly learned something new about quinoa today, and hopefully you have too. If you’re a quinoa expert, feel free to share your knowledge with me. Also, if you know of great recipes, I’d love to hear about them!


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  • Amanda Bella

    Oooh, the quinoa cakes + the mushroom saute look amazing!

    January 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm Reply
  • Miriam

    Well thanks, I know a lot more about this foof now.

    January 6, 2016 at 3:20 am Reply
  • Senatus Populusque Romanus

    Thankyou for this post! I’ve been looking to learn more about quinoa, and googling it throws in all sorts of information which causes a headache!! Also the addition of a few recipes is quite helpful as I’m now ready to cook!!

    January 6, 2016 at 9:57 pm Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Glad you found the post useful! I’ve got the quinoa ready in the cupboard to try out. Hopefully I like it!

      January 7, 2016 at 7:15 am Reply
      • Senatus Populusque Romanus

        I’d love to know which recipe you incorporated it in! Hopefully it shouldn’t be too hard to prepare 🙂

        January 7, 2016 at 7:47 am Reply
        • The Swedish Kiwi

          It looks like it’s prepared similar to the way rice is cooked, so should be fairly simple!

          January 7, 2016 at 10:29 am Reply

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