Referred to by some as a “miracle grain,” quinoa was recently listed by Weight Watchers as one of the, “most valuable ingredients.” It’s also one of the most popular and trendy food ingredients hitting your local supermarkets, but this ancient grain should not be overlooked as just another fad.
Having originated as a super-food for the Incas, it was almost lost entirely during the Spanish conquest of South America. Its resurgence has recently grabbed the spotlight in gluten-free diets, and because of its high protein and low-fat properties, it also leads the list of great food choices for anyone wanting to shed a few pounds of unwanted weight.
WW Quinoa Recipes:
Looking for Quinoa Recipes for Weight Watchers? Try these: (One cup of cooked quinoa has a PointsPlus value of 4)
- Quinoa & tomato salad – PointsPlus value: 5
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad – Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5
- Crunchy Thai Quiona recipe – Points Plus 4
- Quinoa cheeseburgers – PointsPlus 3
- Quinoa & Spinach – Points Plus value 3
- Quinoa Stuffed Peppers – (vegetarian) Points Plus 4
- Here’s more: 23 Quinoa recipes from Cooking Light magazine (Remember, 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per cup!)
So, whether or not you follow Weight Watchers PointsPlus (or any other weight loss or healthy diet program) you might want to add quinoa to your diet, especially as an easy substitute for rice or pasta as a side dish.
Still not sold, let’s compare it to some other grains to get a full understanding its weight loss benefits and how you can substitute your pantry standards for it. Let’s also throw in some boxing jargon, as you should think of this grain as the pound-for-pound world champion!
Quinoa is better than other grains and pasta. Here’s why:
White Rice vs. Quinoa:
First in the ring is white rice. Cup for cup, calories are pretty equal, but after lone that similarity, Quinoa starts to look like Mike Tyson, and white rice is Marvis Frazier. (That fight didn’t end well for Marvis) One obvious difference lies in the amount of protein per serving. Quinoa has twice as much per recommended serving as white rice, thereby making you feel fuller longer, (see the glycemic index) which will enable to you eat less. For a detailed scientific explanation on how protein helps you feel full, click here.
Quinoa also touts 5 grams of fiber per serving compared with equal amounts of white rice which has a measly 0.6 grams per serving. Fiber is another nutrient that aids in digestion and helps you feel more full.
A great recipe found on the weight watchers website that substitutes white rice for quinoa is stuffed peppers. It’s also great as a side dish instead of white rice, as in Quinoa and Spinach, also from weightwatchers.com.
Couscous vs. Quinoa:
Round two will feature couscous in one corner and quinoa in the opposing corner. Couscous is derived from wheat and wheat flours, making it not appropriate for people with celiac disease or those choosing a gluten-free diet.
Quinoa is the seed of a vegetable in the goosefoot family, which also includes spinach and swiss chard. Quinoa can be used as a direct replacement for couscous in any recipe. Quinoa and Tomato Salad from Weight Watchers Online is a great tasting example. And as an added bonus, cooked quinoa resembles couscous.
Pasta vs. Quinoa:
Pasta is pulled in the match for the final round. Cooked pasta lags cooked quinoa on the vitamin and mineral side. When dieting, it’s important to get the most “bang for your buck” out of your food choices.
It’s easier to get more of your recommended daily value of vitamins and minerals by replacing quinoa or quinoa pasta with your traditional Italian pasta. Quinoa is an excellent source of phosphorus, a nutrient that is non-existent in regular pasta. (Also, Weight Watchers coupons found here are a great source of extra cash!)
It also has twice as much iron per recommended serving as pasta. Iron is a well-known mineral that is directly associated with aiding in energy levels. Try replacing your Italian favorite for a quinoa variety in any recipe, as weight watchers did in their Quinoa Pasta Salad recipe.
And the winner is: Quinoa!
Ounce per ounce quinoa really packs a punch. It has more essential vitamins and minerals that aid in weight loss and stomps out the competition. The best news is this super-food is easy to make, versatile and it’s great in flavor too. It can be used to replace any starch at any mealtime.
The growth of its popularity means that it is readily available at most grocery stores, either pre-washed or unwashed. (then you wash it yourself before cooking) When being health conscience it pays to be choosy about your food. Quinoa should be on your plate!
If you want Weight Watchers Quinoa recipes, click here. If you want coupons for Weight Watchers, click here!