Quinoa is a nutritious grain that comes with high protein and low in carbs contents. It’s also naturally gluten-free! However, it does not always taste like much else. If you are looking for something different to eat, try these best substitutes for quinoa flakes instead. Two of the best are cooked rice if you do not mind the carbohydrates or cooked chickpeas if you want a low-carb alternative. They are both delicious, and they make a great breakfast or snack!
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Best Substitute for Quinoa Flakes in 2021
1. Cooked rice
Cooked white rice is the most convenient and common substitute for quinoa flakes. You can use this as a perfect alternative because it also contains fiber and protein. White rice is usually easier than cooking quinoa, but if you’re looking for something close from both a nutritional and flavor perspective, then brown rice might be better.
Know that rice and quinoa differ in liquid absorption. If you use rice as a substitute for quinoa, make sure to cook it for around 10 minutes to ensure that it is well-cooked.
2. Cooked Barley
Barley is a type of grain with high starch content. When you cook it, the starches turn into sugars, making it sweeter and easier to digest. Quinoa is also a seed, but it contains less starch than barley, so when you cook it, its starches remain intact and make it a complete source of protein.
Most people love barley grains as a substitute because of their larger grains and chewy texture than quinoa seed. Its cooking time and liquid absorption are slightly different from quinoa, too.
3. Roasted Vegetables
Roasting vegetables adds a lot of flavors to your dish than cooked quinoa. This makes them more nutritious and flavorful. The process of roasting also caramelizes the sugar inside the vegetable, which gives them a sweet flavor. For example, carrots become sweeter while potatoes get darker and richer.
This method of cooking vegetables is easy and quick. You just need to roast them until they are soft enough to mash easily. Then, you can add some spices to give them a unique flavor. If you are on a plant-based protein diet, this will work for you!
4. Cooked Couscous
Couscous is made by mixing semolina flour with water. After being boiled, it becomes fluffy and light. It has a milder flavor than a bowl of quinoa flakes but still tastes very similar.
If you cannot find any other alternatives, then this is probably the closest thing to quinoa flakes. But, if you are looking for a healthier option with organic ingredients, then you should consider using whole grains such as oats or even brown rice.
5. Cooked Chickpeas
Chickpeas are small beans that grow in pods. They contain a lot of nutrients and fiber and are one of the cheapest sources of complete protein.
If you are looking for a healthy alternative to a cup of quinoa flakes, then chickpeas are definitely worth considering. They are cheap and easy to prepare. You can either boil them first or simply soak them overnight before eating.
6. Roasted Nuts
Nuts are rich in fats and calories. They are also a great source of high-quality protein. Some types of nuts are higher in fat than others. Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are all considered healthy choices. They also give great texture to different recipes for quinoa flakes.
You can eat raw nuts or bake them at home. To bake them, spread them out on baking sheets and place them in the oven. Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. You can also toast them in the microwave together with brown sugar for added sweetness.
What Do Quinoa Flakes Taste Like
Quinoa flakes are similar to whole grains because they have the same mildly nuttier flavor as raw quinoa. And like whole grains, they can be a bit bitter if overcooked. Toasting makes cookies tastier by adding a deeper flavor profile. They are versatile enough to be paired with just about anything else—from almond milk and berries for breakfast bowls to robust flavors like curry and cumin in vegetable burgers.
Quinoa flakes are made by pressing cooked quinoa into flat and thin pieces using a grain flaker. Each tiny grain of quinoa is flattened into a thin sheet called a “flake.” Just like oats, these flakes are then rolled up into small balls. Quinoa has been used for hundreds of centuries by people living in South America because it’s one of the most nutritious foods available. It contains lots of essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These flakes are especially useful when making baked goods since they do not require soaking as traditional flours do. They are often added to pieces of bread, muffins, pancakes, granola bars, and desserts.
What is the Difference Between Quinoa Flakes and Rolled Oats
Quinoa flakes can be used as a substitute for oats in most recipes where oatmeal would normally be used. Oats add bulkiness to baked goods, which makes them chewier. Quinoa adds moisture and lightness, making baked goods lighter and fluffier. Oats do not contain any of the 9 essential amino acids. They are missing lysine (an important amino acid), methionine (another important one), and cysteine.
While both oat products (oatmeal and quick rolled) and the properties of quinoa flake products are naturally gluten-free, they may come from facilities where wheat has been handled before them. Therefore, if you are concerned about contamination by gluten, choose quinoa flakes instead of oatmeal cookies for your convenient breakfast option. If you want to buy one, choose the unsweetened toasted quinoa flakes for a crunchy texture.
How to Properly Cook Quinoa Flakes
The best way to know how much time you need to cook quinoa flakes is to measure water. This is done by measuring the weight of 1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa flakes.
Here are the steps to do it:
1. Soak quinoa flakes overnight in cold water. The following day, drain the excess liquid in a mesh strainer and rinse well.
2. Add the rinsed quinoa flakes to a pot along with the measured amount of water.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat and cover the pot. Boil for at least 5 minutes.
4. Drain when it is tender enough and let it cool in your breakfast bowl.
Cooking quinoa flakes is very simple. The only thing that matters is cooking time. If you cook quinoa flakes too long, they will become mushy and lose their crunch. But if you do not cook them long enough, they will not get soft and chewy.
Is quinoa the same as quinoa flakes?
Quinoa flakes are basically quinoa seeds. The former is processed into a food processor to become flaky and crunchy when mixed into desserts and pastries. Both contain the same properties as quinoa. They are full of fiber, high in plant-based protein, and are naturally gluten-free.
Can I make quinoa flakes at home?
Yes! You can buy ready-made quinoa flakes online or in natural stores. Or you can make your quinoa flakes at home. To do so, follow this recipe:
- 2 cups of quinoa flakes
- 3 cups of water or non-dairy milk
1. Grind the quinoa seeds into a food processor, grain flaker, coffee grinder, or spice grinder. Stir thoroughly to make sure everything is ground.
2. Remove and place the quinoa flakes into sweet non-dairy hot milk if you want to get rid of the bitter flavor.
3. Top with any fruit or nut ingredients you want for your breakfast cereal.
Can I use quinoa in place of quinoa flakes?
Yes. You can use quinoa instead of quinoa flakes and use it like any other multi-grains like rice or barley. Quinoa is a perfect alternative, especially if you cook it with broth instead of plain water. You can also use quinoa for your breakfast bowl and mix it with your favorite fruits and nuts.
Are quinoa flakes healthy?
Quinoa flakes have many health benefits. They are rich in nutrients like iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, copper, manganese, and vitamins B6, C, E, K, and folate. They also help lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. In fact, quinoa flakes are considered superfoods because they are packed with more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein per serving compared to other grains.
Can you replace breadcrumbs with quinoa flakes?
Yes. Quinoa flakes are an excellent substitute for breadcrumbs. They taste great when freshly baked, but they’re even tastier if they’ve been toasted for a few minutes first. Pulse them briefly in a food processor before using them.