I’ve been looking forward to sharing this recipe for a while as it means green thickies can now reach more people. If you are somebody that can’t tolerate eating oats, there is now an alternative option for you. The long awaited quinoa smoothie has arrived.
I’ve been getting requests for a while now from people who can’t tolerate oats in their diet but still want a filling green smoothie to see them through the morning. I’ve found the perfect oat substitute for you, quinoa!
What is quinoa
If you don’t know what quinoa is, it is very similar to rice. People use it like a grain as the staple carb of their meal, but it’s actually a seed not a grain. A great thing about quinoa is it’s quick to cook in around 10 – 15 minutes, has the highest levels of protein of most grains and the best thing about quinoa is that provides all 9 essential amino acids.
Quinoa is gluten free so it’s perfect for you if you are following a gluten free diet, and even if you’re not it’s still an extremely healthy option. Quinoa is gradually becoming more and more popular so if you can’t find this in your normal store, you should be able to find it in a health food shop or order quinoa online. It’s really worth giving it a go as it’s so versatile in all your cooking.
How to make a quinoa smoothie
There is some debate about whether oats are gluten free. There can be cross contamination from wheat in packets of oats, so it’s better to buy gluten free oats if you’re sensitive to gluten. Even so some people still can’t tolerate oats and if you suffer from celiac disease you will probably already know whether you can or can’t tolerate oats.
So as almost all of my smoothies contain oats, I think it’s high time I started looking at alternative carbs that will be just as filling. I’ve got some more great oat substitutes to share with you in the future but today we’re focusing on quinoa smoothies.
Quinoa actually works amazingly well in smoothies. It blends up really easily as it’s nice and soft, and it’s so neutral I can’t taste it at all. I also felt even lighter after drinking a quinoa smoothie so I’d really urge you to give it a try and see how you feel. It’s very easy to digest so perfect if you have digestive problems. A cup of cooked quinoa actually has much less calories than oats too so it’s also an ideal food if you are trying to lose weight. However if one cup of cooked quinoa isn’t filling enough for you, try adding one and a half cups. According to cronometer.com a cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories and rolled oats have 307 calories. Quinoa expands when it cooks so one cup of uncooked quinoa will make a greater quantity of cooked quinoa.
How to prepare quinoa
To prepare you quinoa for your smoothie, you either have to cook it or soak it. Whatever you do, make sure you rinse it first to remove the bitter saponin. To cook it, you can usually bring about 1 cup of quinoa along with 2 cups of water to the boil, then simmer it for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. You will have to watch it carefully at the final stages to ensure it doesn’t stick when all the water is absorbed.
To soak quinoa, you could soak 1 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water overnight. The quinoa will still be pretty crunchy at this stage and it would be worth rinsing it again before adding it to your smoothie.
Quinoa can be eaten raw if it’s soaked first. Some people like to sprout their quinoa but it might depend on the type of quinoa you’ve got, whether this is actually possible. Some think it’s harder to digest than cooked quinoa but it retains more of it’s nutrients this way.
Honeydew and Peach Quinoa smoothie
I’ve given you a great recipe for a quinoa smoothie below made from honeydew melon and peaches, but you can take a cup of cooked quinoa and use it to replace the oats in any of the green thickie recipes on this website. Quinoa will work in any smoothie recipe and will fill you up turning your green smoothie into an entire filling meal. 1 serving of the recipe is actually lower in calories than my usual green thickies so it’s a good option if you’re trying to lose weight.
So if you are on a gluten free diet or simply want a healthy alternative to oats in your filling green smoothies try adding some quinoa to it. It’s also good to eat a varied healthy diet so adding some quinoa occasionally will be great for all of us. Have you ever tried quinoa? Have you ever had it raw, soaked or sprouted?