Fresh and delicious, this hearty Peach Quinoa Salad is full of some of the best foods out there! Light enough to serve for lunch, but filling enough to be a dinner meal.
There are a lot of quinoa salad recipes out there, but this one has it all. Lots of protein from a variety of sources, greens, more veggies, and even fruit! Every single group is represented in this salad. We love the variety of flavors and textures in this quinoa salad, and it is a great way to introduce some of them to your kids. If they struggle with mixing everything together, you can always serve the different ingredients to them separately on a plate, with a drizzle of the delicious dressing. You might be surprised what your kids will try! Each of these ingredients adds nutrition, flavor, and texture to this tasty salad.
Quinoa: Has a nutty flavor and a little ‘pop’ when you eat it. Good source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, like folate, iron, manganese and zinc.
Garbanzo Beans: Excellent source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and a long list of vitamins and minerals.
Almonds: Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
Chicken: Chicken is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide. Most likely because it is a great source of protein and is really versatile. Chicken comes in a variety of cuts, including breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks. Each cut contains a different amount of protein, fat and calories, so each works best for different purposes. While all cuts of chicken are great sources of protein, chicken breasts are the most lean. The extra fat in the thigh, drumstick and wings can provide a more tender and flavorful piece of meat, but some people prefer the texture of the breast.
Celery: Has been shown to reduce inflammation, support digestion and has an alkalizing effect in your gut.
Spinach: Is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and considered to be very healthy. Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce blood pressure levels.
Peaches: Sweet, delicious, and juicy, peaches provide the perfect balance to more savory, protein rich foods.
How Do You Make Quinoa Taste Good?
Quinoa is actually a seed, and grows with a natural coating of a substance called saponin. Whole quinoa seeds are in a husk or shell. The exterior of these husks is where the saponin is located. This husk is removed before the quinoa is packaged and sold. But a lot of times there is still some saponin left on your quinoa. This can give your quinoa a bitter taste. The solution to preventing bitter quinoa is easy! All you need to do is rinse your uncooked quinoa in cold running water for a minute or so until the water runs clear. Because quinoa is so small, a mesh strainer works much better than a colander, so that the quinoa doesn’t fall through the holes. Once you get rid of the bitter taste, there are even more ways to make your quinoa super tasty:
- Cook it in chicken or vegetable broth.
- Add fresh or dried herbs.
- Toast it for a minute or two before adding the water.
- Saute it in a little oil with onions and garlic.
- Make a Quinoa Salad!
Here is one method to making super fluffy quinoa.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa has become popular among the health conscious, and for good reason. It is is packed with protein, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. It is also gluten-free and is a great substitute for wheat. Quinoa is well-known for being one of the only plant foods that supplies complete proteins, offering all essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Essential amino acids are ones that the body cannot produce on its own, and complete proteins contain all of them in roughly equal measure.
People often substitute quinoa for rice. Quinoa is commonly considered to be a grain and is usually referred to as such, but it is actually a seed. When cooked, quinoa is soft and fluffy, with a slightly nutty taste. It can also be made into flour, flakes and various foods like pasta and bread.
Quinoa has an unusual makeup but incredible balance of protein, oil and fat, as well minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, which make it what some people call a ‘superfood’. Phytohormones are found in quinoa, uncommon in other plant foods. Phytohormones help regulate plant growth. Some types, called phytoestrogens, are being studied as a treatment for menopause symptoms because they sometimes behave like estrogen in the body.
Delicious Quinoa Recipes
If you like quinoa and want to eat more of it, start with this quinoa salad then try some of our other recipes! Quinoa is one of the most diverse foods and so we have quite the variety of recipes to put it in!