Quinoa! Gluten Free Plant Based Protein

Pondering plant based proteins? Trying to reduce grains in your diet and you are gluten free?

Well, Quinoa might just be your new best friend.
With all the hype lately about grains damaging our gut health, Quinoa has taken on a whole new role. Technically not a grain…it’s a seed and it’s gluten-free, high in protein, and filling. As a nutritionist, I love it because it works well in breakfast bowls and porridges as well as quinoa salads, homemade veggie burgers, and casseroles — in addition to being a flavourful side ‘grain’. ⁠

What makes Quinoa so special?

It’s being called a superfood and for good reason. A cup of cooked quinoa is only 220 calories while being high in fibre and a complete source of plant based protein. It’s also low on the glycemic index which means it won’t be spiking your blood sugar.

It doesn’t end there…Quinoa is rich in antioxidants and many minerals that our bodies require for overall health. A 1-cup (185-gram) serving of cooked quinoa provides a good amount of several key vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Quinoa nutritional profile fits very nicely with my ‘food first philosophy’ and superfoods over supplements.

Is Quinoa a gut friendly food?

With a resounding YES, it is a food that is not only gut friendly but promotes good gut health. 80 – 90% of the fibres contained in quinoa are insoluble fibres and also provides some resistant starch. Insoluble fibers and resistant starch both feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, promoting the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), improving gut health, and cutting your risk of disease

It’s Gluten Free!
Even though Quinoa is typically prepared and consumed like a cereal grain, it technically is not a cereal – it’s actually a pseudo-cereal or pseudo-grain, as it doesn’t grow as a grass like wheat, oats, and rice. In other words, it is basically a seed, which is prepared and eaten much like a grain.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and generally well- tolerated by those with celiac disease. Although quinoa itself is gluten-free, if you have celiac disease, you may want to buy a certified gluten-free brand, avoiding any possibility of cross contamination during the packaging process.

Is Quinoa a complete protein?
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of all tissues in your body.

Some amino acids are considered essential, as your body is unable to produce them, making it necessary to acquire them from your diet. Quinoa boasts all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein.

With 8 grams of quality protein per cup, vegetarians and vegans alike find it an excellent protein source.

Ensuring that my Vegan and Vegetarian clients get enough protein can be challenging.

Quinoa to the rescue!

I’ve rounded up a couple of my favourite high-protein, plant based recipes to help you along your way.

Quinoa Recipes You Have To Try!

Balsamic Roasted Tempeh Bowls

Balsamic Roasted Tempeh Bowls

These bowls aren’t just loaded with veggies, they’re also loaded with protein at 27g per serving.

Winter Buddha Bowl

Winter Buddha Bowl

High in fibre and nutrients this recipe is 21 grams of protein per serving

Shrimp and Kale Quinoa Bowl

And for the Pescatarians…

Shrimp and Kale Quinoa Bowl

These bowls are a nutritional powerhouse and they’re loaded with a whopping 37g of protein per serving.