For a true protein powerhouse, it’s hard to beat quinoa and black beans.
In the era of superfoods, it’s common for people to look for ways to make their favorite dishes as healthy and inclusive as possible. Long ago, pasta and rice were considered great choices for home-cooked meals, but it’s become less common for two reasons: the rise of celiac disease and the caution people have shown toward less complex carbohydrates.
Quinoa addresses both of those issues. It’s got a grain-like texture despite not being a grain, so it’s got some of the same properties as pasta and is easy to use as a bed for a range of flavors. But it’s packed full of protein, and the carbs that it does have come in the form of fiber rather than simple starches. Plus, it’s gluten-free, allowing people with celiac disease to enjoy it alongside their friends. When it’s paired with black beans, you’ve got a filling meal that doesn’t cost a lot and won’t weigh you down.
Why Does Quinoa and Black Beans Fill Your Stomach?
In short, protein and fiber make a powerful combination. The secret to keeping your stomach full for as long as possible is to fill it with nutrient-laden foods that take time for your body to break down. When your body gets energy, it opts to take it from carbohydrates first, then fats and finally proteins, because proteins take by far the longest to break down and use.
Fiber, unlike simple sugars, can’t be digested by the body. Fiber doesn’t provide calories or energy, but it does help the body remove wastes and ensure that it stays regular, so it’s a vital nutrient to get. Because it doesn’t get digested, though, it’s going to help keep your stomach full until your body uses it to expel waste products.
Together, protein and fiber will keep your stomach from sending messages to your brain that it needs energy, allowing your body to pull energy from what’s already there. Quinoa and black beans are both loaded with both of these nutrients, meaning they’ll fill you up without adding unnecessary calories. For this reason, quinoa and black beans are excellent to eat if you wish to lose weight.
What Flavors Can I Add?
That depends on the kinds of tastes that you want to create. Quinoa has a taste and texture that’s a lot like brown rice, so it’s best to treat it similarly unless you have something specific in mind. Rice lends itself well to herbs and spices, both of which will give your quinoa a new personality.
If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you know that rice and beans make a classic combination, so you could enjoy some Southwestern flavors that work well with both quinoa and black beans. Like with most foods, if it works with your tastes and dietary restrictions, go for it.
How Do I Make Quinoa and Black Beans?
The most important thing to remember is to always wash your quinoa before you try to make anything with it. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a bitter, soap-like taste instead of what you actually want. Once you’ve washed your quinoa, you’ll need to boil it in broth with spices until it’s tender. Mix in well-rinsed beans and any other vegetables, and you’ll have a dish that works great as both a side dish or a meal.
Quinoa has gained a lot of popularity in recent years for its health properties, and there’s no reason that healthy has to be bland. A dish like quinoa and black beans is a great way to open up your family to this superfood with some familiar tastes!