New Ingredient Alert: Quinoa Flakes
April 8, 2011

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Hey guys! Great response to the new kelp noodle recipe. Kelp noodles are such a fun and versatile ingredient: I’m thrilled that you’ve been inspired to experiment with them. As noted by a few commenters, kelp noodles are very low cal, so be sure to pair them with rich sauces and a variety of side dishes: I often add beans to my kelp bowls, or eat them along with a bean and veggie salad, and I also love to eat them with my cheesy red pepper hemp sauce and veggies.

Speaking of fun ingredients, I decided to try a new one out this week: quinoa flakes.

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A few months ago, when I shared my delicious recipe for quinoa porridge, a number of you commented to say that quinoa flakes work very much the same way: you can heat them over the stovetop to create a porridge-like consistency. I’d seen them in stores before, but it had never occurred to me to try them out. Until this week, that is, when I purchased a box (about $5.69, for those of you watching your budgets) and resolved to try out a new kind of cooked breakfast.

Quinoa flakes, I learned, are remarkably fast-cooking. Boil 1 cup water, add 1/3 cup quinoa flakes, and in exactly 90 seconds a hot breakfast is completely at the ready:

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I served mine the way I nearly always serve porridge: with banana, 1 tsp chia seeds or flax meal, and homemade almond or cashew butter:

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My verdict? Two thumbs up! For the most part, I was really pleased with this breakfast. A few notable pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Speed (it doesn’t get better than 90 seconds)
  • Great option for gluten free diners
  • Nutty, mild taste
  • Creamy texture

Cons

  • Not as thick as regular rolled oats or steel cut oats or oat bran
  • Satiety—I found that this porridge held me over for less time than oat bran or oats typically do; it reminded me a lot of brown rice cereal, which I find tasty but not as filling as other grain bowls in the morning
  • With two grams of protein, it’s a less protein rich option than rolled oats (5 grams) or oat bran (7 or 8 grams)

In the end, I sort of like the process of making my own quinoa porridge, if only because I enjoy any excuse to use my hand blender. However, these will come in mighty handy when I need to make breakfast quickly—and these days, that’s often the case. I’m also really excited to see how I can use them in other applications: I’d like to try baking with them, and I also suspect they’ll be great binders in veggie burgers, mock meatloafs, and casseroles. We’ll see!

With that, a bus ride full of chem studying commences. Have a great start to the weekend, friends!

xo

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    43 Comments
  1. If you Toast the flakes in the oven for a but, they make an even better porridge. It doesn’t have the bitter quinoa taste, bit rather a nutty almost peanut butter taste.

  2. I say grind your own because buying these flakes is just more processing of your food. Process your own……cheers

  3. Use a coffee grinder and bingo, faster cooking and a smooth texture.. I like to add hulled hemp seed also a quick grind, and maple syrup..
    So far….. always can add your fav tops later and just a quick reminder for those who eat flax seed… always grind these… the whole seed does nothing for you except go straight through….

  4. I have the same box of quinoa flakes (Ancient Harvest Brand). The nutrition facts say 1/3 c. (34 g.) has 4.3g protein.
    Perhaps you misread the side of the box?

  5. I make the largest recipe on the box and put it into individual microwaveable bowls (pyrex) cool. cover and refridgerate for through the week. I liked it better than oatmeal because it stays loose and doesn’t firm up the way leftover oatmeal does. We eat it with cinnamon, agave, blueberries.

  6. I love quinoa flakes! I actually prefer the texture and flavor to any other hot cereal, but I do agree that it still leaves me hungry sometimes.

  7. I love quinoa flakes, but not as a main ingredient; as you postulated, they’re much better as ‘behind the scenes ingredients’ in veggie burgers and baked goods. I love mixing a couple tablespoons of quinoa flakes with canned pumpkin, stevia, cinnamon and baking powder, egg whites (or a flax egg) and baking until a tasty, pumpkiny treat appears 🙂

  8. I’m curious as to why it’s lower in protein than oats. Isn’t quinoa a high-protein pseudo-grain?

    I wonder if a mix of oats and quinoa would be the best of both worlds?

  9. Love quinoa flakes, though I do find I need to add something for staying powder when I have them as porridge – hemp and pumpkin seeds work nicely for me in those instances. I do like quinoa flakes in flatbread a lot too.

  10. I love quinoa flakes! But I agree, they are lacking in the protein dept. I typically add some vega whole food health optimizer or hemp protein, plus the chia seeds and a bit of almond butter – yumzo! I actually was much more sated when I did regular quinoa for breaky – then these flakes came into my life and were so quick and easy that I got hooked. Sadly, in my neck of the woods they run $7.99/box – but the box lasts a long time, so I rationalize it. I have used it in baking in place of flour and it was quite nice.

  11. A few years ago, I was obsessed with quinoa flakes, because I love how much they plumped up and how fluffy the texture was. Unfortunately, this coincided with a stupid part of my life and I was making them with just water and nutritional yeast, and they quickly started to seem icky. I’ll have to try them again – and treat them (and myself) properly 😀

  12. I have been meaning to try these for some time now! I’m eager to hear Ancient Harvest’s response to your email, as Charlene pointed out one of my recent concerns. I love your initiative and conviction as you pursue ethical consumption.

  13. I love quinoa, but have never tried these flakes. Experience has taught me that the further away a whole foods is from its natural state, the less I get out of it, but the speedy cooking is a huge plus. I went through a steel-cut oat breakfast phase and had to wake up a whole 30 minutes earlier (not worth it).

    Just wanted to let you know I shared my love for Choosing Raw and all that you do in my recent Parsley & Pistachio Pesto post. And I had to link to my favorite CR dressing-Tomato Tahini 🙂

    Hope you have a safe trip and a wonderful weekend!

    K

  14. Oh, I need to have more quick breakfasts in my head. Lately I’ve been eating (homemade) mochi with unsweetened red bean paste for breakfast. Its really delicious and a batch lasts me the whole week. But I usually grab it from the fridge & leave — not enough time to toast it in the toaster oven. A quick warm breakfast would be a nice occasional change 🙂 I’ll check out the quinoa flakes after you update us on Ancient Harvest’s policies. 🙂

  15. I’ve seen this product in store before but never tried it. The satiety thing is a bummer, so I’m not sure I will try it in the future. Thanks for the info!

  16. I gave these a try a couple months ago and am still eating them. I like them as a change from oats, but don’t think I could do them all the time. I’ve added them in a couple recipes and really liked the results!

  17. Good luck with the chem studying…ugh. Not exactly my idea of fun so hang in there!

    I have never tried quinoa flakes. I make whole rolled oats in the microwave in 3 mins (1/2 c dry oats, water, nuke for 90 secs. Stir in cinnamon and sugar, nuke 60 more secs. Done) so I am not tempted by the speed of these…what can I say, I happily use the micro and not the stovetop but I would like to try them just to see what their flavor is like b/c I used to love Cream of Wheat and porridges like that…I need to try these one day.

    Have a great weekend, Gena! 🙂

  18. Not sure I’ll be shelling out that much for quinoa flakes but I like what HEAB does – grinding the quinoa like flour and it cooks up like farina. Yum.

  19. I had to laugh a little when I saw the quinoa flakes title because to be honest Chris and I really disliked them although we do like regular grain quinoa. I think they’d be good in baked goods though. We ended up making our into quinoa flour which turns into flatbread.

  20. I gave quinoa flakes a try a few weeks back… there was no way I was spending $5.70 a box for them, but luckily I found them in my local bulk section 🙂 pretty good, but i’m surprised to hear that their very low in protein. Isn’t quinoa usually high in protein? They were ok, not as yummy as oat bran, in my opinion…

  21. I use quinoa flakes in my new favorite sandwich bread, replacing 1/2 cup of flour with the flakes and adding a little extra vital wheat gluten.

  22. I tried quinoa flakes and was not a fan of the taste; for some reason it tasted so much different from regular quinoa? Or maybe I’m just weird. But I think I could tolerate them in baked goods because the taste would blend with other flavors!

  23. Great, balanced review. I agree, hand blenders rule (even now that I have a Vitamix, I still use what my friend calls ‘the outboard motor’ for lots of things).

    I know you’re not a Gluten Free person, but one of my favorite gluten free bakers Karin Allrich, uses quinoa flakes in a number of baked goods to great effect– glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com–might be of help to some of your clients.

    love
    Ela

  24. Gena,

    I wonder if you could grind raw quinoa a bit prior to cooking to reduce the cook time? Kind of a do-it-yourself quinoa flake? I’d imagine the quinoa would retain its nutritional stats. And its cheaper price tag.

    Just a thought!

    Amy

  25. It has been awhile since I have quinoa flakes, actually a year or so! I remember really liking them for the taste and ease 🙂

    I need to get some again and try out – looks so good. Plus I am trying to get variety into my BF’s diet so he is not always having oatmeal so these are perfect, thanks for the reminder!

    • Make sure you stay clear of GoGoQuinoa brand. Just made those flakes this morning. Excruciatingly bitter. Can not get rid of that aftertaste for hours now. Absolutely hate them.

  26. 90 seconds? Wow that is fast!
    How do you pronounce quinoa? I say ‘keen-wah’ but i hear it said so many different ways :/