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How to Buy Quinoa

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
How to Buy Quinoa
A large bowl of dry quinoa. Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images

If you've searched your supermarket for an ingredient to add inspiration to your cooking, you might have noticed quinoa. In addition to providing an alternative to grains such as rice, quinoa also provides a boost of protein and fiber. One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, 8.1 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of dietary fiber. How you shop for quinoa partly depends on how you wish to prepare the ingredient.

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Find Quinoa Near Rice or Couscous

If you're unsure of where to find quinoa, look in the section that carries rice or couscous. White quinoa is most common in health food stores and supermarkets, but black or red varieties are often available and can change the color of the dish in which you use it. Bulk quinoa can often be cheaper than its packaged counterpart, but check with a store employee to determine the age and freshness of the product.

Buy Seeds, Flakes or Flour

If you plan to use the seed in your baking, look for quinoa flour or flakes instead of buying the seed whole. Buying fresh quinoa allows you to sprout the seed, if desired. Cookbook authors Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming don't recommend buying quinoa to microwave, as it's difficult to cook the seed consistently with this method.

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