With more and more people looking for a healthier plant-based diet. You may have been wondering what wonderful alternative ‘milks’ there are that you can try. Here I’m going to tell you about Quinoa Milk. You’ll find out about the health and nutritional benefits, how to make quinoa milk, and see a comparison with another non-dairy milk.
What You'll Learn Today
- What Does Quinoa Milk Taste Like?
- Homemade Quinoa Milk (2 ways!)
- Health Benefits of Quinoa Milk
- The Difference Between Quinoa Milk and Almond Milk
What Does Quinoa Milk Taste Like?
Quinoa Milk has a naturally nutty taste which can be enhanced with ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, dates, or honey. The addition of dates and honey is mainly to give the milk a touch of sweetness.
Homemade Quinoa Milk (2 ways!)
Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids, so it’s great for vegans and vegetarians.
It’s high in fiber, helping to regulate cholesterol levels and aid digestive transit. It’s gluten-free, has a low glycemic index, and is rich in omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B and E.
For a thicker, richer tasting homemade quinoa milk, simply add more quinoa. Or, for one with fewer calories just add less.
It’s great to make your own plant milks at home, you know exactly what’s in them and how fresh they are. It’s really easy and they taste amazing.
If you would prefer to forego the addition of honey or dates to sweeten your quinoa milk, then the second method that I will describe is probably the one for you.
To make your own natural and preservative-free quinoa milk at home, is quite likely the easiest thing you will do in the kitchen today.
For our first recipe, you’ll need the following simple ingredients:
- Quinoa seeds rinsed and cooked – 1 cup
- Water – 3 to 4 cups
- Vanilla Extract – ½ teaspoon (optional)
- Cinnamon or nutmeg – ½ teaspoon (optional)
- You could also add 3 dates that have been pitted or alternatively, honey to taste (optional)
- Combine the cooked quinoa with the water in a high-speed blender
- Add the extra flavorings you’ve chosen
- Blend until the mixture is smooth
- Strain into a container and refrigerate
- Give it a good shake before use
- The milk will keep for three to four days
The second method will provide a naturally sweeter version than the first. Seeds that have been ‘sprouted’ add natural sweetness to the taste rather than the slightly bitter taste you’ll get from un-sprouted seeds. You’ll need to start this recipe at the start of your day. It takes 24 hours to complete.
The beauty of using sprouted seeds is that they have living enzymes that are highly nutritious as well as imparting their natural sweetness into the milk.
- Quinoa (unpasteurized) – 1 cup
- Water – 4 cups
- Cinnamon sticks – 3
- Vanilla paste -1 teaspoon
- Wash your quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve for around a minute or until the water runs clear.
- Place the quinoa into a glass bowl and cover completely with water, allowing it to soak for around 8 hours.
- Drain the water and place the seeds onto a clean damp cloth on a baking sheet. Cover with another clean damp cloth and leave overnight.
- The following day the seeds should have tiny sprouts showing on them. If not, leave them a little longer until they do.
- Once you have sprouted seeds, put the 4 cups of water and the cinnamon sticks into a pan. Bring it to a boil then turn it down to a medium heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the water through a sieve to remove the cinnamon sticks.
- Once your quinoa has sprouted, put it into a blender with your cinnamon water and the vanilla and blend until it is really smooth.
- Some people put the blended milk through a strainer, but I prefer it to have a slightly thicker consistency so I like to leave it as it is.
- Pour your milk into sterile jars and refrigerate. It will keep for 2 to 3 days.
If you’d like to see how quinoa milk is made, here is a handy video you can watch:
Health Benefits of Quinoa Milk
Quinoa Milk is naturally gluten-free, it is one of only a very few foodstuffs that contain all essential amino acids and it is highly nutritious.
Quinoa has between 10 and 15 grams of fiber per 100 grams more than most grains and seeds. Not all of the fiber is soluble however a good portion of it is.
1 cup of quinoa milk can provide approximately 30% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. It contains Iron, Zinc and also Potassium
Low Glycemic Index (GI)
The fact that quinoa milk is low on the GI means that it can help to keep blood sugar levels healthy
The plant antioxidant flavonoid ‘Quercetin’ has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits and also antidepressant properties.
The Difference Between Quinoa Milk and Almond Milk
Almond milk is the most readily available and popular of the plant milks. Let’s see how it compares to Quinoa Milk, which is far harder to find in stores.
How it’s Made
- Almond Milk is made with whole almonds or sometimes almond butter and water.
- Quinoa Milk is made from quinoa seeds which can either be raw and sprouted or cooked and un-sprouted.
How it Tastes
- Almond Milk has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.
- Quinoa Milk also has a nutty flavor, which is sweeter if the grain has been sprouted. It also tastes distinctly like quinoa.
How to Use It
- Almond Milk can be used in hot beverages such as coffee and tea or as a substitute for cow’s milk in baked goods, desserts, and smoothies.
- Quinoa Milk is better in things like hot porridge or on breakfast cereal.
- Almond Milk contains less than half the calories of Quinoa Milk.
- But Quinoa Milk has half the amount of fat compared to Almond Milk.
- Quinoa has twice the amount of protein and Almond Milk has a fraction of the carbohydrate.
- Almond Milk is a good source of vitamin E, disease-fighting antioxidants that protect against free radicals.
- Quinoa Milk is a good source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, and the minerals magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. It provides a number of beneficial antioxidants.
Both almonds and quinoa contain phytic acid which reduces the absorption of calcium, iron, and zinc in the body. This can be overcome to some extent by soaking quinoa overnight, so sprouted milk may contain lower amounts of phytic acid.
Because quinoa milk is still difficult to find and expensive in stores, making your own is a simple and cheap alternative. You have the added benefits of knowing exactly what’s in your milk and the advantage of being able to make it taste by adding various different ingredients.
To really benefit from the best nutritional value, sprouting your quinoa after giving it a good rinse and a long soak will provide you with the most nutrients.
Quinoa milk can be enjoyed in various ways, try experimenting to see what you like best.
If you’d like to learn more about quinoa we have a large range of other articles available to help you get the most out of this superfood.