Last updated: August 27, 2021

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Quinoa flour is becoming more popular as the years go on. It has such a high nutrient profile that it is widely considered one of the best superfoods out there. If you don't know just how healthy quinoa is for you and what you can use it for, then the below guide will be a lot of help.

Many modern people have no idea just how much of a superfood quinoa is, despite it being a very ancient food with a long history of consumption. If you are interested in adding quinoa to your diet, you will quickly see that there are many ways to incorporate and make use of it. Since it is also gluten-free it is also very popular among vegans, coeliacs, and vegetarians.




Summary

  • Quinoa flour comes from quinoa seeds and has almost all of the same benefits as the raw seeds. The flour is a great complete source of vegetable protein since it has a complete amino acid profile.
  • Because quinoa contains no gluten it is of immense dietary importance to many people. Additionally, anyone who simply wants to incorporate another high-quality source of fibre and plant-based protein into their diets will love it.
  • You can use quinoa flour to make everything dough to dessert, creams, sauces, purees and even heat it up and eat it as a hot cereal. You can also just add quinoa flour to a vegan or vegetarian meal to make sure you are getting sufficient protein. It is also great for people with hypertension, cholesterol, and digestion issues.

The Best quinoa flour: Our Picks

As it is with most superfoods, the amount of different quinoa flour products on the market can be quite overwhelming. The most important factors are the quality of the ingredients and their nutritional value. Below is a selection of the best products on the market to help you make an informed purchase.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about quinoa flour

The more people learn about quinoa and its amazing nutritional benefits, the faster they fall in love with it. In the below section we will break down the different features of this flour and the best ways to incorporate into your diet. By the time you're done reading you will be a quinoa flour expert and ready to buy a great quinoa flour product.

Woman eating healthy quinoa salad with vegetables from plate, closeup

You can use quinoa flour just as you would wheat or any other flour.(Source: Belchonock: 116272812/ 123rf.com)

What is quinoa flour exactly?

Good quinoa flours are made from milled quinoa seeds that are processed according to strict organic standards. Quinoa seeds are processed by first collecting them and separating them from their outer shells. After being briefly dried, they are ground up until they are a flour.

The quinoa seed used for flours is made using Chenopodium quinoa which is incredibly nutritious. Quinoa is an old superfood that dates backs thousands of years where pre-Columbian South American indigenous peoples widely consumed it. It then spread outwards from there.

Did you know quinoa is also high in vitamins like B and E? It also has a lot of fibre, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and iron.

What does it mean that quinoa flour is a superfood?

This means that quinoa flour, as a raw food, is much higher in nutrients than cooked foods are. For the most part, superfoods are rich in enzymes and packed with vitamins and minerals that the body needs to remain healthy. They are also packed full of antioxidants with many different health benefits.

Incorporating superfoods into the modern diet is a growing trend. Quinoa is undoubtedly one of the most popular of these amazing foods, and quinoa flour is especially well-liked (since it can substitute for wheat flour). It is now common to find a range of quinoa supplements and products in both health stores and big supermarkets.

What are the benefits of quinoa flour?

Quinoa is packed with nutrients and they are summed up below:

  • High percentage of complete vegetable proteins: This means it has a similar protein profile to other high-quality proteins out there, which is hard to find in a plant-based protein. This makes quinoa an essential part of a vegan or gluten-free diet.
  • Contains phytoestrogens that regulate metabolic and hormonal activity: This helps to improve blood flow and the high fibre and low starch is great for weight loss, fighting against constipation and better digestion.
  • It is gluten and cholesterol-free and has a low glycemic index: This makes it a perfect food for coeliacs and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Quinoa flour is also very filling.
  • It is simple to integrate into recipes: Quinoa is not only useful for making things like doughs, cookies, and other baked goods, but is also a nice addition to protein shakes, sauces, creams, and just by itself as a hot cereal.

What is the nutritional value of quinoa flour?

The below table makes it quite clear that quinoa is a great source of things like calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Foods high in calcium help prevent musculoskeletal issues, while omega 3 and 6 help lower cholesterol.

The following table details the nutrients contained in 100 grams of quinoa flour:

Element Unit Value
Calcium mg 181
Phosphorus mg 61
Iron mg 3.7
Retinol mcg 0
Vitamin B1 mcg 0.19
Vitamin B2 mcg 0.24
Vitamin B5 mcg 0.68

What is the difference between quinoa flour and other quinoa supplements?

You can incorporate quinoa into your diet via supplements or quinoa flour. The most popular quinoa supplements are:

  • Whole quinoa: Raw quinoa is very nutritious and versatile. It is high in fibre because the entire grain has been left whole. You can use quinoa seeds to make a number of foods as long as the seeds are cooked or sprouted. Different seeds have different flavour profiles. White quinoa is mild, while red quinoa is more intense. Black quinoa has been described as more "earthy".
  • Quinoa powder concentrate: This is similar to quinoa powder but it has been further refined. Quinoa powder concentrate is mostly used to add nutritional value to things like milkshakes, purees, and sauces. While the nutritional value is still high, you get less of the benefits than you would with the whole seed.
  • Quinoa capsules: Quinoa capsules or pills have been filled with quinoa powder. While they are low in fibre, they still have high nutritional value and are rich in minerals. While the capsules taste mostly neutral, it is recommended to take them water during a meal.

Red, black and white quinoa seeds on a wooden background

Superfoods are aptly named because they are rich in minerals, enzymes and help fight off disease.(Source: Elena Schweitzer: 41509787/ 123rf.com)

What is the recommended dose of quinoa flour?

It is advisable to consume around 20 grams of quinoa flour per day, but this might vary person to person based on their diets. The same amount is recommended for quinoa powder. For whole quinoa seeds, the recommended daily value is 50 grams per day, while you should take the capsules maximum three times daily.

Quinoa flour Quinoa powder Whole quinoa Quinoa capsules
Recommended Serving (daily) 20 to 50 grams 20 grams 50 grams (raw) 3 capsules
Need cooking? Yes No (While they can be used in recipes, they need to be cooked first) Yes (should be germinated prior to use) No
Flavour Mild Neutral Mild, similar to walnut Neutral
Price Cheaper More costly Cheaper Moderate

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Can quinoa flour replace wheat flour?

You can essentially use quinoa flour just as you would any other flour. One thing to bear in mind is that because quinoa lack gluten, the kneading process will be much different and the stretchiness of the dough will not be the same. If you can deal with these differences, you will quickly grow to appreciate and love quinoa flour.

If you are making bread or baked goods and want the final product to be as close to what it would be with wheat flour as possible, it is a good idea to mix the flour with some other baking ingredients. Quinoa flour also works well as a substitute for lower-calorie cookies or pancakes. There are even quinoa flour pancake mixes on the market. You can use quinoa to make smoothies and milkshakes thicker too.

Medical News Today
"Quinoa provides a higher amount of antioxidants than other common grains used in a gluten-free diet. Most gluten-free products consist of corn, rice, or potato flour and lack the nutrients that products incorporating quinoa can provide".

Is quinoa flour suitable for both celiacs and diabetics?

Quinoa flour is a god-send for celiacs because it contains no gluten. Incorporating quinoa flour into the diets of celiacs help them keep better digestive and intestinal functioning much better than just a gluten-free diet.

For diabetics, it is slightly more complicated. Whole see quinoa, thanks to its antioxidant profile, is great for diabetics, but as you further process the flour it loses some of its beneficial properties. Diabetics should talk to a specialist before beginning to take quinoa supplements or use quinoa flour.

Are there any contraindications to the consumption of quinoa flour?

Quinoa flour is almost completely safe for human consumption in all instances, and can be used by pregnant women, and given to young children and infants. Quinoa flour is often preferable to other quinoa supplements, like whole seed quinoa, because these, if you eat too many, can have unwanted impacts on the digestive system (too much fibre).

The amazing benefits of quinoa have made it incredibly popular.(Source: Svetlana Kolpakova: 29868445/ 123rf.com)Anyone with a chronic illness (hormone imbalance, kidney or liver disease) or currently taking medications should speak to a physician before taking or eating quinoa. They will let you know what to be aware of, or if you should avoid quinoa flour altogether. A manufacturer's instructions are no substitute for professional medical advice.

Quinoa salad with cucumber,tomato and feta

Quinoa is rich in iron. (Source: Svetlana Kolpakova: 29868452 / 123rf.com)

Shopping Criteria

You should, of course, consider the nutritional value of the quinoa flour you are buying, but there are other things to factor in a well. In the below section we will lay these out so you can make an informed decision when choosing and buying your quinoa flour.

Gluten-free certification

Quinoa flour is one of the most popular substitutes for wheat flour, especially by people who are celiac of gluten-intolerant. While quinoa seeds are, themselves, gluten-free, they are often processed in factories that also process other cereals that contain gluten (barley, rye, oats). If you simply can't consume gluten, you should always ensure the gluten-free seal is on the product.

Ease of consumption

Quinoa flour tends to be packaged in vacuum-sealed packages that make them easy to open and have ziplock closing mechanisms. For anything that requires mixing or cooking, you need to make sure you are able to mix the quinoa flour with these ingredients without affecting the texture or taste of the food.

Fairtrade

Fairtrade is a certification that been grown, harvested and processed under fair conditions that benefit the producers, traders and consumers. Many products have the fair trade seal and it means that the supply chain involved in getting it to your table is an ethical one. It feels nice to support socially and environmentally business practices.

Refining

As previously mentioned, quinoa flour has an incredible amount of nutritional value packed into it, but it begins to lose it the more it is refined. Make sure you know how refined your quinoa flour or supplement is to know it hasn't had all of its goodness leeched from it.

Dry red quinoa close up in a wooden bowl. horizontal top view

Quinoa flour is usually made from the Chenopodium quinoa plant and is very nutritious. (Source: Sergii Koval: 85423190/ 123rf.com)

Origin of ingredients

The best and healthiest quinoa flour is grown and processed right at the source, where the conditions are the most natural. Be careful when buying quinoa flour you are not getting something with additives or chemicals added. This defeats the purpose of buying a superfood, and it will likely alter the taste of the product.

Summary

Quinoa flour is the consummate superfood. The flour and other derivatives made from the quinoa seed are great for people who can't eat gluten. It can be effectively added to many different recipes, especially for baked goods as a nice wheat flour substitute.

Anyone can start incorporating quinoa flour into their diets and get the benefits. Quinoa flours have a staggering number of health and nutritional properties, but they are particularly beneficial for people who are suffering from digestive, cholesterol, blood pressure, and cardiovascular issues.

If you enjoyed this guide to quinoa flour and found it helpful, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop a comment in the below section and let us know what you thought.

(Source of featured image: Jirkaejc: 68078771/ 123rf.com)

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