Do you feel like having a chickpea and quinoa ceviche for lunch or dinner today? Do you think it might not be good for your diet? You’re mistaken, legumes are often present in our diet, as they are one of the basic foods in the Mediterranean diet. The FAO named 2016 the International Year of Legumes due to their sustainable and nutritional qualities.
As you may already know, quinoa is one of the grains that most stands out for its high biological value protein content, as it contains all the essential amino acids. Technically, it is a pseudocereal, as it does not belong to the gramineae family and is, therefore, a seed. However, as it shares characteristics with them, it is usually included in this group. You will probably have heard the idea that legumes and cereals should be combined to extract all their benefits. But just how true is this? What are the keys to combining them effectively? In this article we tell you everything you need to know about legumes, their properties, and the advantages of combining them with cereals or quinoa.
Legumes are a good source of vegetable protein and supply us with the essential amino acids. Amino acids are molecules which, in their different combinations, form proteins. Our bodies use 20 different types and can “manufacture” up to 11 of them. The remaining 9, known as essential amino acids, are those which the body cannot produce and needs to obtain from food. As we said earlier, legumes contain those amino acids, although most are lacking in at least one of them. So, they cannot be considered complete proteins. Soy is an exception: it does offer the full range of amino acids. Of course, this doesn’t mean that legumes can’t be a good source of protein!
Combining them with cereals is a good way to include all the necessary amino acids in our diet. We can successfully add the amino acids missing in legumes through cereals and vice versa. It also isn’t necessary that it’s all in the one meal, we can have them throughout the day.
They are also a natural source of fibre and slow-absorbing carbohydrates. Among the main micronutrients are minerals such as iron, phosphorus, and zinc, and vitamins such as folic acid.
If we discuss the sustainability of their production, according to FAO data, legumes do not require nitrogen fertilizers, as they are able to capture atmospheric nitrogen and transfer it to the soil. That’s why they are allies of farmers in crop rotation and help reduce the agricultural carbon footprint.
It is clear that legumes and quinoa can be great partners in improving your diet. But eating them without knowing cooking times, combinations, and tasty garnishes may lead to dishes that are too heavy or bland. Add colour and freshness!
There are many ways to eat legumes with cereals or pseudocereals like quinoa. That’s why we’re giving you some tips on original, nutritious, and full flavour ways to add them. You can find more tips on including quinoa in your daily meals in this article.
You can make classic hummus at home. How? Blend chickpeas, toasted sesame, a little bit of coriander, and lemon juice. Enrich it with sautéed, blended quinoa, which will increase the protein content of the dish and give it a special flavour. Serve this humous with raw vegetables for dipping!
A delicious, tasty side to serve with a classic full English breakfast or as a filling for pancakes and/or tacos.
Who said salads were boring?
For days when you don’t feel like thinking about combinations or need something easy, quick, and simple to eat wherever you go, you can call upon our pastasfrom quinua Real. Made from quinoa flour and bio rice. Add sautéed peas, textured soy, tofu crumbles, oven-cooked legumes... A delicious, complete salad, in less than 10 minutes!
Our range of real pastas from quinua Real, as well as being a naturally gluten-free and vegan product, is clearly nutritionally superior to other pasta options for coeliacs made from corn flour or starches.
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