Whole-grain quinoa, an Andean staple that has become a “superfood” in the U.S., is a versatile ingredient for savory lunches and dinners. Quinoa flakes, which cook quickly, are great for a quick and easy breakfast. Quinoa flakes are essentially just pressed quinoa. Each little quinoa seed is rolled out flat to make a flake, just like an oat groat is rolled out to make rolled oats. That means quinoa flakes are gluten-free, high in plant-based protein, and full of good fiber, just like quinoa.
You can usually find quinoa in the bulk foods section of health food stores, but you probably won’t find quinoa flakes there. Instead, you can usually find them with other gluten-free foods in health food stores, in the natural foods aisle, or near the oatmeal and other breakfast grains in the breakfast foods aisle. They can also be bought online. There is a difference between quinoa and quinoa flakes, and what makes them different is how they are made. Quinoa is the whole seed, while quinoa flakes are made with a particular machine. I like to say that quinoa flakes taste like rolled oats.
What are Quinoa Flakes?
Like rolled oats, quinoa flakes are just grains of quinoa that a machine has flattened. They cost quite a bit more than oatmeal, but they make a convenient breakfast that is good for vegan and gluten-free diets. Quinoa flakes have all the health benefits of whole-grain quinoa, but they have a texture more like breakfast cereal and cook much faster.
Quinoa flakes are like oatmeal and are often used for breakfast and baking. They are also often eaten by people who don’t eat gluten and want to replace wheat in their diet. Most of the time, flakes should be fully cooked before they are eaten. The word “quinoa” refers to an ancient grain from South America that is very healthy and easy for most people to digest. Even though quinoa is an old grain, it has only been used in North American cooking for a short time. The grains are squeezed into flakes in processing plants, which can be bought at most natural and specialty foods stores.
What do they Taste Like?
Quinoa flakes have the same mild, slightly nutty, and sometimes bitter taste as whole grain quinoa. When you toast them, they taste sweeter and have a stronger nutty flavor. The flakes go well with a wide range of other ingredients, from almond milk and berries in a breakfast bowl to strong spices in a veggie burger.
When raw, quinoa flakes look like rolled oats, and when cooked, they look like wheat cereal or grits. Many say the taste is “neutral” or not very flavorful, but others are quick to point out that this doesn’t mean the flakes or grain are bland; they don’t stand out on their own, like oatmeal or wheat flour does. A hot bowl of quinoa flakes can be good for a person’s diet because it doesn’t have any cholesterol, sodium, or gluten, but it adds about 10% of the fiber that a person needs daily.
How to Cook Quinoa Flakes?
In contrast to whole grain quinoa, quinoa flakes take almost as little time to cook as instant oatmeal. Bring the milk or water to a boil, add the quinoa flakes, let the pot sit for a minute or two, and then stir well. Use three times as much water as quinoa flakes (1 cup of quinoa flakes to 3 cups of water). You can always change the amount of water to get the texture you want. Less water makes the cereal thicker, while more water makes it thinner.
You can also make quinoa flakes in a microwave by mixing the cereal and liquid in a microwave-safe bowl twice the size of the liquid. Cook on high for about two minutes for one serving and up to six minutes for four servings, or until the cereal is thick enough for you. Before serving, stir well.
Before adding them to the boiling liquid, you can toast them in a dry pan until they smell good and turn golden. Dry quinoa flakes can be used in place of oats in baked goods and as a gluten-free breading.
Quinoa Flakes Storage
If you want to keep quinoa flakes for the longest time, usually up to a year, put them in the fridge, even if they haven’t been opened. If the store packaging doesn’t seal tightly again, put them in a container that won’t let air in. Once quinoa flakes have been cooked, it’s best to eat them immediately.
How do Quinoa Flakes Compare to Rolled Oats?
Almost any time you use rolled oats, you can use quinoa flakes instead. The texture of baked goods is changed more by the size of the oats than by the size of the quinoa flakes. Both are easy to cook and have plant protein and fiber, but oats don’t have all nine essential amino acids. Even though both quinoa flakes and oats are naturally gluten-free, oats are more likely to be processed in a facility that processes wheat, making them more cross-contaminated.
Rolled oats and quinoa flakes have about five grams of protein in a half-cup of dry cereal, but the protein in quinoa flakes is better for you. Quinoa flakes are a complete protein, meaning they have all the essential amino acids the body can’t make on its own. These essential amino acids give your body energy, help build and fix issues, and do other things. This type of protein is easy to find in animal products but hard to find in plant products (quinoa is one of the few). Oats don’t have all these essential amino acids, so their protein is incomplete.
The flat shape of quinoa flakes makes them feel like rolled oats. Because they are so small and thin, they also cook very quickly. Because of these two things, they make a great breakfast porridge when they are cooked. Their size makes them less noticeable than rolled oats in baked goods, so you can add them to something like brownies to add protein without changing the texture. They can also hold things together in treats like no-bake cookies. They can even be used to bread chicken instead of panko or bread crumbs.
Quinoa Flakes Recipes
Recipes for quinoa flakes aren’t very common, but most flake packages will have a list of ways to use them in baking. When the flakes are used instead of white or wheat flour, muffins, bread, pancakes, and waffles become healthier. Many people who use the flakes say the baked goods are tasty and filling. Quinoa flakes do need to be cooked. If you want to eat them for breakfast, you should add them to boiling water and cook them for about 90 seconds. After that, you should let the flakes sit for a few minutes until they reach the right thickness and consistency. But if the flakes are used in a recipe, the directions should say how to cook them right.
Many people have found that quinoa flakes are a healthy alternative to dried oats and use them instead of oatmeal in baking recipes. You can easily make quinoa cookies out of oatmeal cookies, and some say that this South American grain makes them feel fuller. The flakes can also be used instead of oatmeal when crisp fruit recipes call for it, or they can be added to granola to make it healthier. Find more ways to use quinoa by looking for recipes in gluten-free cookbooks, vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, or on the Internet.
Can you Eat Quinoa on Low-Carb or Keto Diets?
Quinoa has a lot of good nutrients, which is why many people want to eat it on low-carb or keto diets.
But the size of the serving is key. If you want to eat this grain on a keto or low-carb diet, you should do so in small amounts, not in full-sized servings. For example, if you’re on a strict keto diet that limits carbs to 20 grams per day, a full 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of quinoa has more than 21 grams of carbs within your daily carb limit.
Even on a more flexible keto diet that lets you have up to 50 grams of carbs daily, you would still have to limit all other carbs and eat mostly protein and fat the rest of the day. Even though some low-carb diets aren’t as strict and let you eat more carbs, you shouldn’t eat much quinoa if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet. You could put a spoonful on a salad or stew, for example. So, you could still enjoy quinoa’s crunchy texture and nutty taste without exceeding your carb limit.
How Many Carbs are in Quinoa?
Quinoa is a food with a lot of carbs because a cooked 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving has 21.2 grams, making it about as high as millet. Depending on your low-carb diet, a single serving of quinoa may put you over your daily carb limit.
Since your body doesn’t fully break down the carbs in fiber, you can figure out how many carbs your body breaks down by taking the total fiber out of the total carbs in a food. This number is called “net carbs.” Since there are 2.6 grams of fiber in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa, this amount has about 18.6 grams of net carbs. Even though this number is less than the total carbs, it’s still much more than the 13 grams of net carbs in a single slice of whole-grain bread, which is usually not allowed on low-carb diets.
Quinoa flakes are a healthy alternative to flours and grains like rice and wheat. Quinoa flakes are like oatmeal and are often used for breakfast and baking. They are also often eaten by people who don’t eat gluten and want to replace wheat in their diet. Raw wheat, quinoa, and barley are hard to digest, even after soaking. This is because cooking breaks down enzymes, complex sugars, and starches that the body can’t break down properly. The macronutrient profiles of red and white (sometimes off-white or yellow) meat are almost identical. Both quinoas have about 105 calories per dry ounce, the same as white and brown rice. But both of them have more nutrients per gram than rice.