Termed a superfood because of its high nutritional value, quinoa is steadily becoming a favorite dish in many households.
You can grind quinoa seeds into flour, add to soups and sauce or cook them whole and serve with stew. But, is Quinoa healthier?
Quinoa flour is a healthier addition to your diet. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, and iron. Although finer than the regular all-purpose wheat flour, you can use quinoa flour to make tasty muffins, pie crusts, and pancakes.
Quinoa flour is immensely beneficial to you, especially if you are on a specific type of diet, like vegan or alkaline.
Here is everything you need to know about quinoa flour, its value, and how you can use it.
Is Quinoa Flour Healthier?
Quinoa flour, derived from quinoa seeds, is packed with nutrients essential to your body. The flour is healthy and non-GMO. It is also gluten-free and high in protein.
The flour may be yellow or creamy white, depending on the variety of quinoa seeds used. You can purchase the flour directly from a food store or grind the seeds at home using your food processor.
In addition to this, it contains no cholesterol or trans-fats and high levels of calcium, iron, and magnesium.
You can enjoy quinoa flour in various ways, including baking cakes, cookies, or pies like you would use wheat flour.
You will notice that this flour is more refined in texture compared to wheat flour. This quality makes it suitable for making baked products such as sponge cakes.
You can also use it to thicken soup and sauces. Below are 11 reasons to use quinoa flour over white or wheat flour
11 Reasons to Use Quinoa Flour Over All Purpose or Wheat Flour
1. Quinoa Flour is Alkaline
Quinoa is an alkaline food. It’s alkalizing effect on the body comes from its phytate content, which in itself is an antioxidant.
It would interest you to note that quinoa is one of the few grains that are naturally alkalizing. Other grains in this category include millet and amaranth.
Alkaline foods are healthy, but it seems counterintuitive that food which is high in protein could also be alkaline. The truth is that it all depends on the type of protein.
Even though the alkaline strength of quinoa is not strong, it is a great meal option if you are on an alkaline diet. It will go a long way in balancing our body Ph.
2. Quinoa Flour is Gluten-Free
Quinoa flour is naturally gluten-free. This is good news to you if you are gluten-intolerant or if you are on a gluten-free diet.
That said, not all products made from quinoa flour are gluten-free. Additionally, when purchasing this flour, ensure you read the product labels correctly.
Some quinoa flour products may have been made in factories that handle gluten and may be contaminated.
Another emerging issue is that quinoa, although technically gluten-free contains gluten-like proteins (Prolamins) that are similar to those found in other grains such as wheat and barley.
Unfortunately, although not gluten in their natural sense, these proteins are sufficiently similar to it, may cause serious immune reactions in people with gluten sensitivity.
For this reason, celiac patients and those with gluten sensitivity should eat moderate amounts of quinoa. You may also find products contain a mix of quinoa and wheat flour.
Such kind of product is full of gluten because of the wheat. To be safe, make your own quinoa flour or buy quinoa flour labeled certified gluten-free.
3. Quinoa Flour Contains More Fiber
The nutritional content of quinoa makes it a better option for you.
Quinoa flour contains more fiber than wheat and white flour combined, so it’s a much healthier option. Fiber has been shown to promote gut health, and weight loss.
The fiber content in quinoa is five times that of wheat, which gives it a lower glycemic index than wheat flour.
A low glycemic index is suitable for people looking to keep their blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, rather than going up and down like a roller coaster.
So quinoa flour is a much healthier option for you. It’s also cheaper, and tastes better too!
4. Quinoa Flour is Grain-free
Quinoa flour is grain-free since it is derived from quinoa seeds, which is not an actual grain. It does have some similarities to coconut flour in that it works best when mixed with other flours or binders such as eggs.
Its flour texture is light and fluffy and contains no grains.
5. Quinoa Flour Contains Low Anti-Nutrients
The anti-nutrient substances found in grains such as phytic acid, lectins, and enzyme inhibitors are not present in quinoa flour. Plus, it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.
6. Quinoa Flour has Low Fat
Most of the fats in quinoa flour come from oleic and palmitoleic acids (the good-for-you fats), so it’s a much healthier option.
Additionally, it contains zero cholesterol, unlike wheat.
7. Quinoa Flour is Good for Weight Loss
Quinoa flour is excellent for weight loss. For one, the protein content in this flour is high enough to help regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin.
The protein also helps induce satiety, ensuring you stay fuller for longer.
Additionally, the high fiber content present takes quite some time to digest. This is why you remain full for a long time after eating food made from quinoa flour.
This also prevents you from overeating, hence promoting weight loss.
8. Quinoa Flour is less Mushy and Ideal substitute to Wheat flour
While Quinoa flour is a healthier alternative to white flour, it may not have the excellent texture of white flour. But is it better than wheat flour in terms on texture and consistency with baked foods.
It is also gluten-free and high in protein with a pleasant nutty taste.
Its texture is also very different from wheat flour, and other types of flour such as almond and coconut, which makes it better to use in baking.
The flour can be easily substituted for white flour in various recipes because it has a similar texture to wheat and produces the same results.
Quinoa flour is an ideal substitute for those following a gluten-free diet, such as those with celiac disease.
Unlike white, whole wheat, or rye flours, quinoa flour typically doesn’t contain added gluten, which is one of the reasons why it makes an excellent alternative to wheat flour.
9. Quinoa is Rich in Protein
Among other nutrients, quinoa is very rich in protein and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
It contains about 25% protein by mass and 14% fiber – more so than any other flour.
10. Quinoa is Great for Vegan Bodybuilding
Since quinoa flour contains more protein than a similarly-sized serving of wheat all-purpose flour, it’s an even better option for people who are trying to build or maintain their muscle mass.
So, go get those muscles in a healthy, more sustainable way!
11. Quinoa is Generally More Nutritious
Packed with lots of fiber, proteins and minerals, you can’t go wrong with quinoa flour.
Quinoa is also a good source of phosphorus and iron (more than white flour) and contains pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) in unusually high amounts for a grain: this vitamin aids the metabolism of proteins and fats and helps the body to turn food into energy.
Quinoa Flour Nutrition Facts
Quinoa is a wonder food rich in nutrients and minerals. Here is its nutritional profile. The amount indicated is per 100g serving of quinoa.
|Total dietary fiber
Table 1: Nutritional profile of quinoa
Can You Use Quinoa Flour In Place Of All-Purpose Flour?
You can substitute all-purpose flour with quinoa flour. However, for recipes that require a liquid, you have to reduce the amount of liquid used. This is because quinoa absorbs more moisture than wheat-based or white flour.
However, if you plan to substitute all-purpose flour with quinoa flour due to health reasons (e.g., allergies), then you should seek out a recipe made explicitly for quinoa flour and use it.
You can use quinoa flour in pancakes, muffins, and cakes. You may also use this flour in bread-like sandwiches if you will be substituting only a part of the wheat-based all-purpose flour that is required.
Indeed, quinoa flour is a healthier alternative. Whether you are on a keto, paleo, or alkaline diet, quinoa is a worthy and tasty addition to your meal plan.