Quinoa Substitutes: 9 Foods That Tastes Similar to Quinoa

Quinoa is a popular grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds and it is higher in protein compared to some grains. Quinoa is prepared and eaten just like rice but it comes with a mild nutty flavour and technically quinoa is not a cereal grain.

This grain is a great choice compared to many grains but there are definitely times you crave something different but with a similar taste. The nutritional value of quinoa is no secret but there are more protein-filled and nutrient-rich alternative grains that taste the same way.

Although plant experts classify quinoa as a pseudocereal and not grain, it can still be a great choice for many. However, quinoa can be quite expensive. All trendy foods eventually get replaced by something healthier and there are definitely substitutes for quinoa as well.

Choosing a healthy diet is very important. Quinoa might be high in protein but it’s low in sodium, calcium, iron and potassium. However, there are plenty of delicious alternatives that taste similar to quinoa.

9 Foods That Tastes Similar to Quinoa

Quinoa has been a staple food for years and it’s so popular that farmers can’t afford to grow it. There is no secret to the amazing recipes you can make with quinoa. However when you run out of quinoa or can’t seem to lay your hands on one. We have compiled a list of healthier foods that are similar and tastes just as great as quinoa.

1. Couscous

Couscous might not be as popular as quinoa but it’s a much healthier substitute. It’s a type of Italian grain that makes a perfect dinner. It is a grain made of wheat and barley. Couscous tastes like rice but the shape looks like that of quinoa. This healthy grain can be made with vegetables, a creamy sauce concoction or simply have it eaten with meat.

This whole grain is an excellent source of fibre which is good for you in many ways. The calories in couscous and rice are pretty much the same but couscous contains more protein and it’s a bit healthier as well.

2. Sorghum

Sorghum is an ancient grain that tastes and looks very similar to Israeli couscous. Sorghum is a cereal grain and it’s completely gluten-free which makes a great substitute for people with gluten intolerance. It has a mild earthy flavour, the taste and texture can also be compared to wheat berries. Sorghum can be cooked as a whole grain breakfast porridge, sprinkle it in a salad, stir it into soups or stews and serve as a side dish.

3. Barley

Barley is another popular cultivated grain and it is considered even more loved than quinoa. You are sure to get the chewy texture that is similar to quinoa and it can be used in beverages, bread, stews and other dishes. Bailey is a very healthy substitute for lots of whole grains. This grain is commonly used as whole grain and it is rich in protein and other plant compounds.

4. Brown Rice

Rice is a staple in lot’s of countries and there are even more amazing ways it can be cooked compared to quinoa. This whole grain is much larger and is a healthier substitute for white rice. Brown rice is an unrefined and unpolished whole grain and it is generally more nutritious than white rice. Many of the nutrients in brown rice can keep your heart healthy.

Brown rice is a great substitute for quinoa although it’s unlikely to give the same taste, it gives the same unique flavour as quinoa when paired with meats like chicken breast and fish.

5. Red Beans

Red beans are very similar to kidney beans and both can be used interchangeably in recipes. Red beans are packed with nutrients and other benefits which makes them a great substitute for quinoa. Red beans pack a really healthy punch and either canned or boiled fresh, it is a really great way to stay on a healthy diet. Red beans can be enjoyed with rice and with the proper rotation of dishes, you can enjoy beans as often as you want.

6. Roasted Vegetables

This might be a surprise as a quinoa substitute but it’s quite healthy. Well-roasted vegetables can be enjoyed at any time of the day and it’s a great way to take a break from quinoa and other whole grains. The best-roasted vegetables to go for include zucchini, broccoli and eggplant. The result of a well-roasted veggie is a nutty, toasty flavour you can’t help but love.

7. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are very low in calories and this is even more popular than quinoa. Chickpeas are also high in dietary fibre which helps with digestion and this is the perfect option if you want quick gluten-free food, the protein and fibre content are also similar to quinoa.

This is a really healthy alternative to legumes and it goes well with any type of vegetables, meat or sauce. Eating one serving of chickpeas per day can also help reduce bad cholesterol.

8. Nuts

Another quinoa alternative worth trying is nuts. It might be time to switch your regular bowl of quinoa and salad to something crunchy and with fewer calories like nuts. Nuts are on the list of healthiest foods you can eat and it offers the same nutrient content like quinoa. Nuts can be added to your salads as well. Eating nuts may be good for your heart.

9. Kamut

Kamut is another great quinoa substitute and it is much richer and more nutritious than wheat. Kamut is an ancient type of wheat and it tastes similar to brown basmati rice but it contains less fibre than traditional wheat. Kamut can be used as an alternative to all-purpose wheat flour. It can be cooked into a salad or enjoyed as a side dish.

In Conclusion

Quinoa is a cereal grain that can be used in any recipe but as it gains popularity as the most enjoyed pseudo-grain, it becomes more expensive. There is no doubt that quinoa is a healthy food that can be enjoyed in many ways but it’s also good to know about other substitutes. Hence why we have listed some healthier food options above.

You don’t have to give up your beloved quinoa completely but these substitutes above are worth trying.

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