Quinoa flour is particularly rich in proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fiber and is gluten-free, therefore also suitable for celiacs.
Quinoa flour is obtained by grinding quinoa seeds. Recall that quinoa is a pseudo-cereal , closer to the spinach and beet family.
Like quinoa, its flour is also totally gluten-free and can be used by celiacs. The flour is very thin and has a grayish color . It has a strong flavor reminiscent of cabbage, therefore it is particularly suitable for the preparation of savory pies, crackers, bread, piadina and other baked goods.
Quinoa flour can also be used for sweet recipes, but in this case it is preferable to mix it with other flours to obtain a neutral taste. Let’s get to know this flour better by analyzing calories and nutritional values.
Quinoa flour: calories and nutritional values
The nutritional values of quinoa flour do not differ from those of the seeds from which the flour is obtained. The caloric intake is about 368 kcal per 100g of product, therefore it is slightly more caloric than type 00 wheat flour which provides 343 kcal per 100g and also whole wheat flour which provides 321 kcal per 100g. This difference is mainly due to the fact that quinoa flour has a higher protein and fat content than wheat flour.
As mentioned, quinoa flour has a good protein content and an excellent amino acid profile, in fact, it provides all the essential amino acids for protein synthesis. Compared to other flours it has a higher fat content, in particular good fatty acids.
Quinoa flour is an energy food especially for its carbohydrate content, despite this, it has a good supply of fiber which determines a low glycemic index (IG 40). Among the mineral salts, this product is characterized by a good content of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and iron. As far as the vitamin content is concerned, we find above all vitamin E, vitamin A and a small percentage of vitamins of group B. Below we indicate the nutritional values per 100g of quinoa flour.
Nutritional values per 100g of quinoa flour:
- Power: 368 kcal
- Proteins: 14.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 64.2 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Fat: 6.07 g
- Potassium: 563 mg
- Phosphorus: 457 mg
- Magnesium: 197 mg
- Soccer: 47 mg
- Iron: 4.57 mg
- Vitamin E: 2.44 mg
- Vitamin A: 1 mg
Quinoa flour: the health benefits
Now let’s see in detail what are the benefits that the regular use and consumption of quinoa flour can bring to our health.
✓ Source of vegetable proteins
As we have seen above, quinoa flour has a very high content of high biological value proteins. In its composition there are several essential amino acids, especially lysine and methionine. This characteristic makes it a food to be preferred in vegetarian and vegan diets.
✓ Weight control
The good fiber content favors the distension of the gastric walls and gives it a low glycemic index useful for keeping sugar and insulin levels under control. All this is useful to improve and prolong the sense of satiety in the long term and allows you to consume fewer calories during the day.
✓ Improve cholesterol levels
Quinoa flour helps to lower cholesterol levels thanks to the presence of soluble fibers that reduce intestinal absorption. This brings an important benefit to the cardiovascular system by reducing the risk of developing and / or aggravating cardiovascular diseases.
✓ Beneficial for the bones
Quinoa flour is rich in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and calcium which make it a useful food for bone health.
✓ Cancer prevention
Quinoa flour contains quercetin, an antioxidant which, by counteracting the negative action of free radicals, has important anti-inflammatory effects useful in preventing many diseases. In particular, the action of quercetin appears to be effective in the prevention of some types of tumors.
What does quinoa flour taste like?
Compared to other flours, quinoa flour has a more decisive flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of cabbage, which is why it is a flour that is particularly suitable for savory preparations, despite this it can also be used for sweet recipes by mixing it with other flours for get a neutral taste.
How quinoa flour is used
Quinoa flour is used above all for baked products such as wraps, crepes, crackers, rusks and breadsticks, in this case it is possible to completely replace wheat flour and use only quinoa flour together with a leavening agent such as cream of tartar. or ammonium bicarbonate.
For dry pastry products such as biscuits or shortcrust pastry it is better to mix it with other flours to obtain a more neutral taste. In this case it is possible to mix it with the classic white or whole wheat flour but also with other gluten-free flours such as rice, corn or buckwheat flour for the realization of gluten free desserts.
This flour, thanks to its good protein content, is also suitable for baking and therefore for the production of bread, pizza or focaccia. In this case, if it is not necessary to make gluten-free products, it is preferable to use a mixture with 70-80% quinoa flour and 20-30% wheat flour. This same proportion can also be used for the preparation of desserts that require leavening such as muffins and panettone.
How to make quinoa flour at home?
To make quinoa flour at home, just use quinoa seeds and a food processor. The first thing to do is wash the seeds under running water to eliminate the bitterness, then let them dry thoroughly for a few hours. Then it will be sufficient to put the quinoa in the food processor and chop everything until you get a powder and then sift it. At this point the quinoa flour is ready to be used.
How to store quinoa flour?
Quinoa flour can be stored in an airtight jar or vacuum -packed in order to preserve all its organoleptic characteristics. Like all flours, it must be stored in a dry place away from light to prevent humidity, heat and light from damaging the product, reducing its storage time.
Does quinoa flour contain gluten?
As has been mentioned several times in the previous paragraphs, quinoa flour is totally gluten-free and thanks to its good yield in leavened products it is one of the flours that is most often used in gluten-free cooking. In any case, when buying quinoa and quinoa flour, it is preferable to check that the symbol of the crossed ear or the nutritional claim “gluten-free” is present on the package, this is necessary to ensure that there are no traces of others in the product. cereals with gluten.
Can anyone with diabetes use quinoa flour?
Thanks to the good content of dietary fiber and its low glycemic index, quinoa flour can be used in the diet of people with diabetes. Despite this, as for other cereals, even in the case of quinoa flour it is important not to exaggerate in the daily quantities since it is still a product composed mainly of carbohydrates. Therefore, even if they are products made with quinoa flour, the guidelines for a healthy and correct diet recommend taking 1 to 3 servings of cereals (about 80 g per serving) and derivatives such as bread (about 50 g) every day. portion). In case of diabetes, however, it is important to follow the advice given by the specialist.
Does quinoa flour contain nickel?
As we mentioned in the previous paragraphs, quinoa flour is a very versatile ingredient that can be used by celiacs, diabetics and even those who are allergic to nickel. Its low nickel content, in fact, means that it can be used in a diet with a reduced nickel content without the risk of developing adverse reactions.
Contraindications of quinoa flour
The quinoa seeds from which the flour is obtained contain calcium oxalates which, in those who are predisposed to or suffer from kidney stones, can favor the formation of stones. Therefore, those suffering from this pathology should limit the use and intake of quinoa and also of its flour.
Does quinoa flour make you fat? Does your belly swell?
Quinoa flour is rich in protein and dietary fiber, these nutrients are useful for reducing appetite and increasing the sense of satiety. This allows you to take in fewer calories during the day, therefore, quinoa flour not only does not make you fat but could be useful in controlling and reducing weight.
Furthermore, although fiber can cause abdominal bloating in some people who are particularly sensitive to certain foods, quinoa flour does not cause this condition and does not swell the belly.
Quinoa flour: prices and where to buy it
A pack of one kilo of quinoa flour has a price that can range from 10 to 15 USD, depending on the manufacturer and can be purchased at the supermarket or in food stores specializing in gluten-free products. We generally find it in the flour and bakery products department. Alternatively, you can also buy quinoa flour in some herbalist’s shops or on the internet, where we will be able to find a wide selection of products.