Red Quinoa Vs White Quinoa

An ancient food from the South American Andes, Quinoa has been used for centuries as staple food by the people of this region. Even though it is widely known as a grain today, in its truest essence quinoa is a seed. In the recent years, quinoa has become quite a popular seed type among the health conscious class. The most common variety of quinoa comes in off-white shades known as ‘white quinoa’. Other varieties that are popular include the red quinoa and the black quinoa. With that said, quinoa is found in several other colors as well however these three types are the most commonly used ones.

Over the years, there has been a constant debate on the benefits of red quinoa vs. white quinoa. In general, both the types offer more or less the same nutritional benefits. Still if you want to know the minute differences then here you go:

The Taste of Red Quinoa vs. White Quinoa:

The majority of quinoa lovers out there believe that the taste of both the types is dependent upon the way you cook it. However, researchers have demonstrated that white quinoa compared to red quinoa is less bitter to taste when consumed in its raw form. While white quinoa offers a smooth light flavor, red quinoa offers a more bitter and strong flavor. This is the reason white quinoa is more popular as a staple diet for animals than red quinoa.

Nutritional Facts of Both the Types:

When it comes to nutrition, both the types offer exactly the same nutritional value. They contain all the nine essential amino acids which is why they are known as ‘complete protein’ foods. Similarly, both of these types are high in magnesium, iron, vitamin E and B and vitamin B2. Similarly, both of these quinoa types are naturally low in fat. Red quinoa provides 8g of fat per cup while white quinoa provides approximately 9g per cup. Remember, the fat provided by both of these types is ‘unsaturated fat’ which is quite beneficial for maintaining the cholesterol levels. Also, unsaturated fat is great of maintaining cardio health. Moreover, another good news for health conscious people is that all the varieties of quinoa, especially the red and the white, are absolutely free of saturated or unwanted fat.

Difference in Appearance and Taste after Being Cooked:

When cooked, white quinoa looks like white rice whereas red quinoa looks more like brown rice. Red quinoa in particular is known for being crunchier and harder to chew. Remember, both the types must be washed thoroughly before cooked. Quinoa seeds have an outside layer of saponin which is quite bitter and you wouldn’t want to chew it!

What’s the Conclusion?

If you seriously are looking for full protein vegetarian meals then quinoa should be an important constituent. Quinoa is also high in fiber which is why it is widely recommended to be consumed early morning as breakfast. Check out this post to learn more about  quinoa vs rice.

  • Eating Bangkok

    I'm just starting to get "into" quinoa as a healthy addition to our diet so this comparison between the white and red varieties was helpful to me, thanks! It should also give me some idea which variety is going to be more tasty in any given recipe.

  • SDer

    meh, Red or White it's all good and patriotic to I mix the two together and it tastes great; I'm Canadian.

    • Wendy Polisi

      I do the same thing!  I like the contrast in both color and texture!  

      I hear they are doing really well growing quinoa in Canada!

      Sent from my iPad

  • Jose Caceres

    Quinua (quinoa) es original from Peru. It was the main food for Incas. it is true, it has proteins that can replace meat. So it is wonderful for vegetarians.

  • GeorgiaGirl

    I had to VERY gradually introduce this to my fiance. I love it by itself, but he's childishly picky and I knew he would balk at something that seemed to bizarre, or had a weird name. I started sneaking white quinoa into his white rice and it's worked like a charm. White rice has practically NO nutritional value, and on the contrary is a very simple carb, and therefore SUGAR with little benefit. I'd prefer he didn't eat it at ALL. However, he is Caribbean by descent and all his family ever eats is fatty meat and white rice. I digress. Anyway, I started making 3 parts rice to one part quinoa and have slowly shifted the ratio in favor of the quinoa. He's now eating a mixture that close to half and half. I'm even able to put some red quinoa in there too. I originally made the mistake of giving him quinoa straight and it did not go over well. Now he eats it and has no clue. When he asked what all was in his rice, as he eagerly devoured it and praised me for it's yummy-ness, I simply said "Oh, some spices, and some South American grains, some butter, etc.". It really is like using strategy on a little kid….