A blooming plant belonging to the amaranth family, quinoa, is a herbaceous annual plant that is predominantly farmed as a crop for its edible seeds. These seeds are more nutritious than many grains in terms of protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. Quinoa has come into its own over the past few years due to the renewed attention on its multiple health benefits. If you’ve started bringing quinoa home and don’t know what to do with it, try these quinoa recipes.

Adding nutrient-rich quinoa to your daily diet could have a significant positive impact on your health.

Health benefits of quinoa

* Helps in weight loss
* Helps in maintaining blood sugar level (aids in lowering the risk of diabetes)
* Helps in improving gut health
* Rich in antioxidants which is good for the heart
* Reduces the risk of cancer
* Rich in fibre thus, helps to relieve constipation
* Brightens your skin as it contains vitamin B

As everyone these days is continuously looking for some healthier dietary options, we cannot simply ignore quinoa after knowing its health benefits. Now that we are aware of the advantages of quinoa, let’s look at some unique ways to include them into our diet.

Quinoa is a super food which contains more protein and fibre than oats. We know no one gets tired of oats. It’s basically the most popular breakfast item ever. But it’s nice to take a break sometimes and explore new things!

Health Shots brings to you 3 recipes to add quinoa in your diet

1. Easy lemon Quinoa

Anita Katyal, popular by the name @ herhealthypalate, shared this recipe via an Instagram post.

Ingredients
* 2-3 tbpsp cooking oil
* 1 tbsp urad dal
* 1 tsp chana dal
* 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
* 7-8 curry leaves
* 2 green chillies chopped
* 1/2 inch ginger
* 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
* Salt as per taste
* A pinch of hing
* 3-4 tbsp water
* 3.5 cups cooked quinoa
* 1 tbsp lemon juice
* 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
* Cilantro to garnish

Procedure:
1. Heat the pan and add cooking oil.
2. Add urad and chana dal and sauté until it is lightly golden on medium flame
3. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle
4. Add curry leaves, ginger, chillies and cook for 30 seconds
5. Add turmeric, salt, hing and water and stir it quickly
6. Now add quinoa and mix it well
7. Add lemon juice and mix
8. Put roasted peanuts, and you can use roasted cashews as well
9. Finally garnish with cilantro. Your yummylicious lemon quinoa is ready.

Also read: Quinoa or barley: Which grain is a better weight-loss food?

Quinoa is nutritious. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Quinoa berry bake

This recipe from the Instagram handle @eatinghealthytoday is the perfect easy vegan breakfast meal!

Ingredients
* 2 large bananas
* 1 cup quinoa
* 2 tbsp chia seeds
* 2 cups almond milk (or any other plant milk)
* A pinch of cinnamon powder
* 2 tsp vanilla
* 2 tbsp maple syrup
* 1.5 cups fresh or frozen berries

Procedure:
1. Mash your bananas in a large baking dish and add in all of the ingredients (except for the berries)
2. Whisk to combine then mix in your berries and make sure they are spread out evenly.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes until the quinoa is cooked.
4. Add in your favourite toppings. Try fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, vegan yogurt and more. You can also add fresh berries and nuts.
5. To make this high protein add in 2 scoops of vegan protein and 1/3 cup of extra plant milk.

It makes about 4 small serves, make a double batch if you prefer a bigger breakfast!

3. Quinoa cups with blueberry

Quinoa can be incorporated in both sweet and savoury a recipe, that’s why a quinoa breakfast cup makes so much sense! @veganbowls shared their recipe of Quinoa cups through an Instagram post.

Blueberry benefits
Blueberry is yum and healthy. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Ingredients
* 1 cup quinoa cooked
* 2 cups plant milk or flax milk
* 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
* 4 tablespoons chia seeds
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder (optional for an added fiber boost)
* A pinch of salt
* Blueberry compote
* 2 cups fresh blueberries + more for topping
∙ 1 teaspoon lemon juice
∙ A pinch of salt

Toppings
* Fresh blueberries
* Nut/seed butter
* Maple/agave syrup

Procedure:
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions if you don’t already have it on hand. You can also keep cooked quinoa in your fridge for a simple, easy option for lunch.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of cooked quinoa, plant milk, maple syrup, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, psyllium husk powder (if using), and a pinch of salt. Let it sit in the bowl on your counter for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens.
3. In the meantime, make the blueberry compote by adding all of the compote ingredients into a small saucepan and heating over medium-high heat until the blueberries burst and the mixture turns into a jam-like consistency. This will take about the same amount of time as the quinoa to thicken.
3. Spoon the quinoa mixture into glasses or bowls layered or topped with the blueberry compote. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next morning, top with nut/seed butter, fresh blueberries and a drizzle of maple/agave syrup and enjoy. You may also heat it up if you prefer a warm breakfast- it’s delicious either way!

Try out these quick and healthy quinoa recipes to add some variety to your everyday meals.

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