What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa ( pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is an ancient ‘grain’ that is high in protein and easy to prepare. It is not a true grain but actually a seed from a species of plant called goosefoot.

Other plants that are also members of the goosefoot family are spinach, Swiss chard, and beets.  It is the perfect alternative to starchy rice, potato, and pasta and it is also gluten-free.  It is it is delicate, fluffy and nutty.

There are many varieties of quinoa and the seeds are in many colors, even though the white is the most popular here in the USA, we can also find black and red seeds.

Quinoa Nutrition:

Quinoa is very nutritious ‘grain’, having many health benefits it has been enjoyed for thousands of years by the Incas. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Quinoa is rich in iron, iron is needed to produce red blood cells, iron carries oxygen from one cell to another.

Quinoa is rich in fiber, unlike animal protein which is devoid of fiber. Fiber is necessary for proper bowel function, preventing bowel cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

The fiber in quinoa makes you feel full for longer and it helps with weight loss.

How To Make Quinoa

Quinoa is great to substitute everywhere you use rice, you can prepare a lot of creative recipes with quinoa. I have several favorite recipes using quinoa:

How To Cook Quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa

Before cooking quinoa wash the seeds using a fine mesh colander unless the package says it has been prewashed.

The reason why you should wash quinoa seeds is that the outer layer has a protective coating called saponin. Saponin helps to protect the plant from animals, insects that want to eat it. Saponin gives the seed a bitter taste. Some people are sensitive to this coating and may develop an adverse reaction if not washed.

It is so easy to cook fluffy quinoa by following my simple quinoa to water ratio: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.

After quinoa is washed, place quinoa in a pot and add twice the amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Using a fork fluff quinoa then cover and allow quinoa to sit for 5 more minutes before serving.

Quinoa can be served with a stew, like fried rice, salad, burger, stuffing, soup, bread, cakes, muffins. Here are 25 Amazing Quinoa Recipes to try.


How To Prepare Quinoa

Where To Buy Quinoa

Quinoa can be purchased at any local health food store or most local supermarkets. It can also be purchased online on Amazon.

How To Prepare Quinoa



(Per portion)
  • Energy: 156 kcal / 652 kJ
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbs: 27 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • For: 4 Servings



  1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and wash under running wash, shake off excess water.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium pot and add water and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 or until quinoa is tender.
  3. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover pot and allow to sit for 5 more minutes
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.