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Quinoa: Did you know?

Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire back in the day. They referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred. It has been consumed for thousands of years in South America, although it only became trendy and reached “superfood status” a few years ago.

There are three main types of quinoa… white, red and black.

This is what they look like..

  • High in nutrients: iron, copper, zinc, potassium, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, fiber, protein, vitamin B1-3 and B6, Calcium and Vitamin E. It also contains a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Diets friendly: Non-GMO, Gluten Free and usually grown organically. Even though not technically a grain, (but an edible starchy seed), it still counts as a “whole grain” food.

  • Flavonoids: Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including Quercetin and Kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits. Quinoa is naturally free of gluten and using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of a gluten-free diet. Quinoa provides a higher amount of antioxidants than other common grains used in a gluten-free diet

  • High in Fibre: Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains, with one source finding 17-27 grams of fiber per cup of uncooked Quinoa.

  • High in Protein: Quinoa is high in protein compared to most plant foods and contains all the essential amino acids that we need, which can both increase metabolism and reduce appetite significantly. It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein and comprised of all pernine essential amino acids.

  • Low in GI: The glycemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low. However, it is still relatively high in carbohydrates.

Quinoa chocolate balls recipe

Now you're convinced by how healthy Quinoa is...treat yourself to some chocolate quinoa balls and feel all the benefits!


1/3 cup quinoa, pre-rinsed

2/3 cup water

8 whole (pitted) dates, no sugar added

1/2 cup raw almonds with skin

1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (optional, almond butter or Sunflower Butter)

1-2 tbls raw cacao power or 1/3 cup cacao nibs

Suggested extras:

1/3 cup ground flaxseeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup honey instead of the dates

2/3 cup almond meal (if you use honey)


  • Add quinoa and water to a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook approximately 12-15 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed. Quinoa should still be warm when adding to the ingredients below.

  • Using a food processor, add dates, and pulse until they form a ball.

  • Remove dates and place in a medium mixing bowl.

  • Add almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Be careful not to turn the almonds into mill.

  • Add dates (ball), minced almonds, peanut butter and quinoa to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined.

  • Add chocolate cacao and pulse until combined. Return ingredients to the mixing bowl, shape into 24 - 1" drops or balls.

  • Roll drops in crushed almonds or coconut if desired. Place on a dish, refrigerate until set.


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