Quinoa is a great ingredient to add to your diet: it’s healthy, nutrient-packed, easy to prepare, and delicious! Since 2013 was declared by the United Nations General Assembly the "International Year of Quinoa", quinoa has gained popularity in the Western world. But do you really know quinoa? Read on to learn about 6 common misconceptions you also might have believed were true.
Myth: Quinoa is a grain
Even though most people (including us!) refer to it as a grain, quinoa is a seed. Its plant is genetically close to both spinach and amaranth. Quinoa is often compared to grains because it is often used as an alternative to them and has nutritional similarities. However, its nutrient profile is more interesting than typical grains. Quinoa is rich in fiber, B vitamins, minerals, and is also a complete protein.
Myth: Quinoa contains gluten
While quinoa is a starch, it is naturally gluten-free. Therefore, it is not only safe for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, but it also allows them to access foods in categories dominated by wheat and other gluten-containing ingredients. GoGo Quinoa saw the opportunity to develop a wide range of gluten-free products with quinoa as one of its main ingredients: quinoa cookies, quinoa cereal, quinoa pasta, the list goes on.
Myth: Quinoa has a bitter taste
This myth probably comes from people who have had bad experiences with poor-quality quinoa. The natural coating of the quinoa seed is called saponin. Saponins are a form of protection from the seed against birds and insects but can leave a bitter taste if not removed before consumption. Quinoa, therefore, needs to be rinsed with water before being cooked. To give you the best product, GoGo Quinoa ensures that the quinoa goes through a strict washing process before being packaged.
“Quality standards are still not established in Canada for quinoa and you can find the best and worst on the market today. By using the highest standards used by the Bolivian authorities for our Quinoa Royal ®, we guarantee our clients of the best culinary experience possible,” says Martin Bilodeau, founder of GoGo Quinoa.
Myth: Quinoa is solely a rice substitute
Quinoa can certainly be a rice substitute, but it is so much more. You can use it for snacks, baking recipes, and soups. The proof? We've not only created a full line of products using quinoa but our website is flowing with recipes for all types of meals, and for all hours of the day! You can look through our recipes here.
Myth: It takes a long time to cook quinoa
As we explained here, quinoa is so easy and quick to cook. You simply need to follow 3 steps and it will be ready in under 15 minutes!
Myth: Quinoa is bad for the environment
In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) designated the year as "The International Year of Quinoa" to raise awareness of quinoa's potential in fighting world hunger. The plant was recognized for having valuable nutritional and climate-proof qualities, like for example being drought resistant, being able to grow in a range of conditions, and thriving in salty and dry soils.
1kg of quinoa uses 30 times less water to grow than 1kg of beef and 5 times less water than 1kg of rice.