Quinoa flour is derived from a plant indigenous to South America that is often used as an alternative to wheat ingredients. This type of flour does not contain gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains that is hard to digest if you have Celiac disease. Quinoa granules differ in coarseness between brands, so the best version depends on what you are cooking as well as your personal preferences in texture. This cooking essential can also be used in high-protein diets.
Unlike other types of flour that are derived from grains, quinoa versions are made out of the seeds of the plant. The plant itself is related to spinach, but the seeds are a valuable source of dietary protein. Those who are on a high-protein diet might choose quinoa flour over wheat versions in order to maximize their consumption of the nutrient. Quinoa also has a higher iron and fiber content compared with other types of flour available.
Flour made out of quinoa seeds has a creamy appearance, and the texture is coarser than traditional wheat versions. Wheat flour tends to have a more subtle taste in recipes, while quinoa exudes a nutty flavor. Quality flours will have the slightest flavor of nuts, while more generic versions might be overly flavorful. Quinoa flour is a favorite in baking desserts and breads, but it can also be used in chicken and pasta dishes that call for this type of agent. Depending on your personal tastes, the coarseness of a particular brand might be more suitable for different recipes.
The downside to solely cooking with quinoa flour is that it lacks binding agents that make other ingredients stick together within a recipe. One solution is to use half quinoa and half wheat flour. The amounts can be adjusted depending on the flavor and texture that you desire. If you are on a gluten-free diet for Celiac disease, then you will not be able to use this method. Instead, try cooking with the quinoa version of flour at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time and add more water to your recipe.
As with other food plant-based foods, there are organic versions of quinoa widely sold over the Internet and in supermarkets. Organic quinoa seeds are those that come from plants have not been treated with pesticides or herbicides. Although some households prefer such products for health reasons, some cooks opt for organic flour because it has a more distinct taste.