Quinoa flour adds a nutty, whole grain, complex flavor to baked goods. It does become a bit dense in large amounts, and is better in pancakes, muffins, and quick breads. For anything else, I recommend using 25%-75% flour depending on the dish. Use quinoa flour to add real nutrition and health benefits to those carb cravings.
If you have been on Pinterest searching for recipes for even a short time, you have surely seen 100's of recipes involving quinoa in some way. This popularity made me assume that it was just another phase of the health food community that would phase out before long. Boy, was I wrong...
Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated in Peru and Bolivia. Quinoa was cultivated and eaten by pre-Columbian civilizations and was replaced by cereals on the arrival of the Spanish, despite being a local stapleat the time.
I finally decided to jump on the quinoa bandwagon, considering it was a low-carb alternative to rice, and I fell in love. I eat it all the time now! I didn't even realize at the time the amount of health benefits the ancient grain packs in. Let's break it down.
- Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat.
- Quinoa has all 7 amino acids essential to human life.
- Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains.
- Quinoa is high in potassium.
- Quinoa contains Iron.
- Quinoa contains lysine - which It is an essential nutrient in the diet of vertebrates. Also, To make strong collagen for healthy, glowing skin and clean arteries, it's necessary to have ample supplies of vitamin C and two amino acids, lysine and proline.
- Quinoa is rich in magnesium (which is very important for female health).
- Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2).
- Quinoa has a high content of manganese which is a vital element of nutrition in very small quantities.
Needless to say, quinoa is extremely healthy, but is especially beneficial for ladies!
Now, I was sitting on my couch thinking about how I could use this new addition to my diet, and I realized that since quinoa is a grain just like wheat, you must be able to make flour out of it. I looked it up, and it is totally a thing! Seems obvious, but needless to say, I had to try it.
Considering I have a bit of a wheat sensitivity, which is little more than an annoyance most of the time, the idea of a wheat flour-alternative was too good to be true. It's gluten-free as well.
During my last trip to my local grocery store, I thought I would check the health food section to see if quinoa flour was sold there. It is, If you are willing to pay $13 for a pound of it. This just wouldn't do, considering I had bought a 4.5 lb. bag of quinoa for around $10 at the bulk foods store.
Fortunately for those of us on a budget, you can make quinoa flour in a blender, wheat mill, or even a spice/coffee grinder! It is probably healthier to process it ourselves anyway. The only tool I have is a bender, which fortunately is a great way to make it.
Steps to making quinoa flour in the blender:
- Ensure your quinoa is washed and dried if it didn't come pre-washed.
- Toast in a skillet on medium heat until quinoa turns golden and starts to pop. Watch because it can burn quickly. This step is optional but adds a nutty flavor.
- Pour quinoa into blender.
- Blend on high for 3-5 minutes.
- Sift through a fine mesh sifter into a bowl.
- Allow to cool.
- store in a container for up to 4 to 6 months in the freezer if stored in sealed containers or if tightly wrapped.
Enjoy all of the new possibilities this healthy and flavorful ingredient has to offer!
Here is a pin-able photo for Pinterest: