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Why Do They Call You Supergrain?

August 5, 2009

Oat bran is not readily available in the town of Westcliffe.  So, in an effort to hoard the last of my supply, I tried something new:

FlakeBoxAccording to the folks at Ancient Harvest, quinoa flakes are 100% organic quinoa simply steam-rolled into a quick cooking quinoa flake. I am a fan of regular quinoa, and I’ve always read that it is the world’s oldest grain, gluten free, full of protein, a superfood, yadda yadda yadda.  Let’s just say I really wanted to like these flakes.

Cooked quinoa flakes with chocolate Sun Warrior rice protein powder served in PB jar.

Cooked quinoa flakes with chocolate Sun Warrior rice protein powder served in PB jar.

The flakes tasted okay – kind of like buckwheat.  I’ll finish the box, but it’s not something I would buy again. I always thought that out of all grains, quinoa was the highest in protein.  Well, according to my box of flakes, 1/3 cup dry quinoa contains 131 calories, 2.4 grams of fiber, and 4.3 grams of protein.  However, the same amount of Bob’s Red Mill Oat bran contains 120 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein, not to mention more iron and calcium.  Am I missing something?  Oat bran appears to be higher in nutrients.  Why is quinoa always touted as such a supergrain? Is it because it’s considered a complete protein?  Would you quinoa experts please enlighten me. Whatever the reason, I’ll be sticking to oat bran because it taste about a 100 times better!

Two thank-you’s before I go.

Reader JacobC was so kind to send CD and I some goodies all the way to the UniBlogger cabin.  Thanks Jacob!

Love the reading material Jacob!

Love the reading material!

Also, Linda over at Linda Gets Fit honored me with the following award:

Thanks so much Linda!

Thanks so much Linda!

CD and I are quite sad to leave Westcliffe today but excited about our upcoming adventures in Woodland Park, CO.  I’m hoping to meet up with some other bloggers/readers in Denver sometime this month.  So, if you’re in the area and would like to join us, please stay tuned for details soon.

I leave you with my clean-out-the fridge breakfast:

No flakes OR oats included. :)

No flakes OR oats included. 🙂

Let’s see, there was 1 onion, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes sauteed and then scrambled with 1 egg and 2 egg whites served on a bed of romaine massaged with 1/2 avocado, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of stevia and topped with the other 1/2 of my avocado.  Got all that?  Well, I sure did because I am stuffed!

Not sure what our Internet situation will be in Woodland Park as we’re staying in a yurt high up in the mountains.  Should be interesting.  Fortunately, I hear there is a Starbucks nearby. 🙂

Off to walk the pups and do some major house cleaning.  Bye!

58 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2009 9:50 am

    Interesting! I love oat bran- I think its actually more yummy than regular oatmeal. Josh also likes oat bran chocolate chip cookies better than oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! So its doubly awesome 😉 I had salad with avocado last night and it was incredible. Avocado is truly the jam- so tasty! Have a great day

  2. August 5, 2009 9:51 am

    Not a huge fan of the flakes either.

    Have fun in the sun!! 😀

  3. Ann Ewing permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:00 am

    I’m oringinally from The Springs… Colorado Springs. If you go 15 minutes down Highway 24 from Woodland Park you will hit the AMAZING hippy town of Manitou Springs! You HAVE TO HAVE TO eat at Adam’s Mountain Cafe. It’s an all-natural restauarant the most amazing food… Here is their website Also just down the road from Adam’s is a place called the Mate Factor. Mate is a South American replacement for coffee. They also have great natural food/treats and yummy mate!

    I’m so jealous you’re close. These are my two “must go to” places whenever I make it home.

    My grandparents also have a Christian-college Ministry just up the hill called Summit Mininstries. If you’re looking for a place to hear/sing praise music and listen to incredible speakers you should check it out…

  4. August 5, 2009 10:03 am

    I still have yet to try quinoa, but I have a feeling I would feel the same way — oat bran is just the best, I prefer it even to regular oats, but I still eat those occasionally.

  5. August 5, 2009 10:05 am

    I think I’ll pass on the quinoa flakes then. But I keep meaning to try kamut flakes – don’t know what they’ll be like.

    Mmm oat bran. I can never give it up.

    Love the scramble for breakfast – I recently started loving avocadoes – they are great!

  6. August 5, 2009 10:12 am

    A yurt?! Last time I saw one of those, I was still living in Inner Mongolia. And even there they had a yurt with some indoor plumbing, so I hope for the same for you. 🙂

    Have fun in your next destination!

  7. Lara permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:13 am

    I like quinoa but did NOT like those flakes. Had a funky taste to me. I seem to recall the nutrition info on the flakes was different than that for regular quinoa which might account for the lower amounts of protein and other nutrients. Maybe when it is flaked it somehow renders the final product less nutritious?

  8. August 5, 2009 10:16 am

    I did a little searching, because that’s a good question. I think the difference, and why it is touted as being so healthy is because a cup of quinoa is much more calorie dense than a cup of oat bran or even raw oat groats. A cup of quinoa has over 600 calories, while a cup of oat bran only has about 200. However, that cup of quinoa, even though it has more calories, DOES technically, have more protein. So, if it is being flattened into a flake and arriving at a similar calorie count as oat flakes, it only makes sense that 130 calories of quinoa couldn’t possibly have as much protein.

    So, I guess the bottom line is, if that was confusing, calorie for calorie, raw oat does have more protein. But if you are talking dry measurement, raw quinoa does. Those flakes must have a lot of water in them or something.

    Plus, I think quinoa IS considered to be beneficial because it is a complete protein. I like it, but I haven’t been very into it lately, not sure why.

  9. gina (fitnessista) permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:17 am

    good to know about the quinoa flakes- i’d wanted to try them, glad i didn’t 🙂 i think all the quinoa hype stems from the fact that it’s a complete protein. i still like bulgar wheat better 😀
    have fun on your puppy walk!

  10. Pam permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:18 am

    Quinoa flakes.. Interesting. I’m not sure if I would go for it but that’s for the review!

    Enjoy uour last day at the cabin

  11. Kristen permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:21 am

    In general, I’m not a flaky girl! I do enjoy oat bran flakes of the cold cereal variety as seen here …kind of a multi-grain explosion!

    I like regular quinoa because I find it so filling! I add all kinds of stuff to it.

  12. August 5, 2009 10:24 am

    I have those sitting in my pantry… but I don’t know if I’ll be trying them anytime soon now. Silly us, how could we expect anything to compare with our beloved oat bran?

  13. Metta permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:32 am

    From my knowledge base of quinoa, it is considered a “super grain” because it is a grain that contains all the amino acids needed to put it in the “complete protein” category.

    Have fun in the yurt. Probably nice in the Colorado summer, but not sure if I’d like it in the winter.

  14. jacobc permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:37 am

    Looks yummy!

    Ah, just .7 protein difference, don’t sweat it- go for what tastes best!!
    I think my oatmeal is 5 or 6 grams of protein per serving (before adding milk and PB)

    I’m sure you will find a good place to put the “coffee now dammit” sticker ;-p

    Cheers, J

  15. August 5, 2009 10:39 am

    I’m not a huge fan of quinoa either. Oat bran is waaay tastier 🙂 Sounds like it has better nutritional stats. Not sure about the complete protein thing though. Have fun on the walk with the pups!!

  16. August 5, 2009 10:42 am

    Have fun in CO!

    Love that breakfast with the avocado. Sounds delicious!
    ❤ jess

  17. August 5, 2009 10:43 am

    I got so excited when I saw that pic of the flakes and then your review totally ruined it! haha. If you say no go than I am sure I probably wouldn’t like it either. I have never seen those before. Have you seen them around here. Not that I want to buy them, just wondering :). Lucky little you getting care packages and junk. Man I miss my egg breakfasts 😦


  18. August 5, 2009 10:51 am

    I had the same experiment with Quinoa flakes last week and I was so disappointed. They tasted like dirt! Not even as good as buckwheat (which I’ve tried too – and it was kind of glue-y, but still tasted pretty good!), I couldn’t even finish my bowl.. bleh. I agree, they sound so promising.. but can’t even begin to touch Oat Bran. Sounds like you need to yourself in some boxes of oat bran, stat!

  19. August 5, 2009 10:54 am

    Are you seriously staying in a yurt? Does it come with a complementary yak? P:

  20. August 5, 2009 10:58 am

    grape tomatoes? jealous!!!

  21. August 5, 2009 11:04 am

    Ahhh, to be in the US where there is always a Starbucks nearby… 😛

    Interesting to know about the quinoa! Although, isn’t it technically a seed? I think I recall that from the Thrive Diet book… I’ve seen the quinoa flakes at the bulk store. I think may try it anyways, but mixed with rolled oats.

    Although, it should really come as no surprise that oat bran always reigns supreme 😉 Have fun in your crazy teepee tent! 😛

  22. August 5, 2009 11:17 am

    Good thing you reviewed them because I was going to buy them next time I was out!!! Phew. I’ll stick to my oat bran lovin ❤

  23. Sweet and Fit permalink
    August 5, 2009 11:18 am

    I have never tried quinoa flakes, but I have tried just plain ol’ quinoa – mostly just because of how much its praised as such a superfood, but you are sooo right, it really doesn’t taste all that great – just another reason you have given me to get myself some oat bran. hope you are having a great day =)

  24. August 5, 2009 11:23 am

    i’ve never tried the quinoa flakes, but I do like regular quinoa.

    i hope you guys keep having a fantastic time! I can’t wait to see the “yurt”

  25. August 5, 2009 11:27 am

    Sorry you didn’t like a Quinoa Flakes! I have to try Quinoa! I’ll probably love it!

    I’m having an awesome giveaway on my blog if you want to check it out!!

  26. August 5, 2009 11:31 am

    Yay avocado!

  27. August 5, 2009 11:34 am

    Interesting about the quinoa flakes. I am no expert so I can’t weigh in on quinoa vs. oatbran, but doesn’t it seem weird to you that quinoa flakes would be more readily available than oatbran? Hehe, I don’t know, I always think of quinoa as more exotic than oatbran 😉
    Well, I’m sorry it didn’t live up to the expectations, but at least you got a little variety 😉
    If you think of it, I’d love to know what you think of that issue of Self. I like to buy them here if they’re “good” issues, but they cost about $7, so a review first is always nice 🙂

  28. balancejoyanddelicias permalink
    August 5, 2009 11:41 am

    I don’t like quinoa either… it’s not as creamy and dense as oat bran. definitely can’t replace it! 🙂 complete protein? yes, I read something about that too, but as i’m not vegetarian, no worry about getting enough protein.

  29. August 5, 2009 11:56 am

    thanks for the yurt link, haha. that sounds really cool to me! something different. and thanks for the quinoa flakes review. i’ve contemplated buying them so many times. but after reading your review, i think the next time i try a new hot cereal i’ll go for a different grain. have fun staying in the yurt! 🙂

  30. Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now permalink
    August 5, 2009 12:23 pm

    Very interesting review of the quinoa flakes. Have fun in your yurt 😉

  31. August 5, 2009 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the review! I love regular quinoa and am curious about the flakes. Maybe I’ll pass them by now.

  32. August 5, 2009 12:51 pm

    That clean out your fridge breakfast looked mighty fine! Can you believe that I have never tried oat bran? I know, what have I been waiting for? LOL!

    I can’t sit by the window on flights either….also feel trapped. Also hate sitting in the backseat of 2 door vehicles…yikes!

    How is YOUR Einstein doing? Teehee, love that name!

  33. Margarita permalink
    August 5, 2009 12:52 pm

    Hi Heather,

    I love the picture of your quinoa experiment! Looks yummy! However, I don’t like this grain – not in a regular grain or flake. I take my oats any day, any time! 😉 I also have been experimenting with millet. Have you tried it? I LOVE it! I guess I am a huge fan of a “crunch/chew” factor. I prefer my oats raw and rolled too (soaked of course and then heated up for breakfast) vs. oat bran.

    Yey on a meet-up announcement! I’ve been waiting for it. 😉 I’ll be waiting to hear when and where exactly in Denver and look forward to finally meeting you!

    Have fun in a yurt… you’re brave! lol

  34. August 5, 2009 1:36 pm

    On the quinoa… Yes from what I have read quinoa contains an amino acid that most grains do not. That amino acid combined with all of the others it contains does in fact make a complete protein. No beans needed :).

  35. August 5, 2009 1:48 pm

    i haven’t tried the flakes, but i wonder how it compares to the actual grain. i’ve heard it called ancient grain, but not super? enjoy your yurt 🙂

  36. August 5, 2009 1:55 pm

    I always heard or read that too, that quinoa is one of the super grains.
    I would be interested in more info too!

    I want a month in a Uniblogger cabin! Today I am getting a SAHM day and LOVING it!

    Hope you have a great next phase of your trip!

  37. jennieinwonderland permalink
    August 5, 2009 2:16 pm

    I’m pretty sure quinoa is so celebrated because it’s the only thing that has all the essential acids/proteins, other than meat? Maybe?

    I like oat bran better too 😉

  38. August 5, 2009 2:37 pm

    I LOVE oat bran! And I have you to thank for it. Before it looked….well, like old people food to me. Sorry, but it did! But the stuff is amazing and I’m sold.

    Thanks for the honest review of the flakes. I do love quinoa, but oat bran is just so much more versatile (IMO). Here’s hoping Woodlank Park grocery stores have oat bran!! 😉

  39. Tiffany S. permalink
    August 5, 2009 2:53 pm

    Not only is quinoa a complete protein but (according to Wikipedia) it “contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans.” So, yay for that, whatever it means.

    Any mention of yurt, second to solar power, gets my husband crazy with excitement (oh, and treehouses). We await yurt photos!

    Safe travels!

  40. August 5, 2009 3:51 pm

    Well hopefully they’ll have oat bran in the next town!

  41. August 5, 2009 4:32 pm

    I’ve tried those flakes – they aren’t my favorite. Oatbran, however, IS one of my favorites 🙂

    How long are you in Colorado for? Are you homesick at all?

    Hope you are enjoying Westcliffe!

  42. August 5, 2009 5:23 pm

    everyone hit it up with it being a complete protein and having all the amino acids, that’s why its a super grain…

    i hope you’re thankful about sbux for the internet access and not the coffee…go by the other locals suggestions and find yourself a decent cup of joe :p (i say this even after working there 5yrs :p) AND being from seattle hehe….

    have a good time!! when do you come back to tn??

  43. joelygolightly permalink
    August 5, 2009 5:52 pm

    Mmm I love quinoa! I’ve made quinoa stuffed peppers before and they’re delish!

  44. Deb permalink
    August 5, 2009 7:01 pm

    I have asked that question in my mind a thousand times- Tosca Reno and everyone at Oxygen mag seems to think that quinoa is the grain of the gods and “all that protein”…What protein? From the quick checks I’ve done- it’s about the same as any other regular (non-soy) grain. Maybe one stinking gram more?? who cares! I don’t understand.

    Hope you enjoy your next locale!!


  45. August 5, 2009 7:07 pm

    i definitely love quinoa but have never seen anyone make it oatbran style!! Dang, I’m sorry it doesn’t taste all that good! Could it be the texture?? It’s a really interseting point you made there – that the quinoa isn’t really as “super” as oat bran!!! STRANGE! Could it just be that people classify it as a “carb” so it would be the healthiest carb alternative? Keep us posted!!

  46. August 5, 2009 7:27 pm

    I will be posting a muffin recipe using Quinoa Flakes in a few days. I’ll send you the link as soon as it’s posted.

  47. GeenyBeeny permalink
    August 5, 2009 7:30 pm

    I use my quinoa flakes for baking in place of flour for my version of cookies – quinoa flakes, PB, a little agave nectar, cinnamon, dried fruit = yum!

  48. musicmaven10 permalink
    August 5, 2009 8:32 pm

    yeah Denver!! I’ll be here!

  49. Samantha permalink
    August 5, 2009 8:52 pm

    Interesting about oat bran vs. quinoa. I always thought too that it was the highest protein grain and keep hearing the term “complete” protein tossed around although honestly I don’t completely know what that means. I love quinoa, but not as a breakfasty or sweet type food, more for salads or tabbouleh , etc.

    Save travels and keep enjoying!

  50. August 5, 2009 9:43 pm

    I think you are right about quinoa being a complete protein. That’s what I always thought… while also being completely vexed as to why people make such a big deal about it. It’s tasty drenched in soy butter with salt and pepper (the few bad things that I let myself eat), but that’s about it. I wanted to try this cereal forever, but didn’t because of the price. Now I don’t feel like I’m missing anything! Thanks! ❤

  51. yogiclarebear permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:55 pm

    i didn’t like quinoa either. it tasted like a strage bowl of chicken flavored hot cereal. :-/

  52. WholeBodyLove permalink
    August 6, 2009 12:54 am

    I do like regular quinoa but I haven’t tried the flakes. Now I have a heads up. 🙂

  53. August 6, 2009 5:50 am

    I used to eat those flakes EVERY morning and liked them okay. I would put agave in them but now that I am not using any sweeteners, I don’t think I could eat them. They have a very strange taste for sure. I used to always wonder the same thing about the protein according to what is on the side of the box.

  54. August 6, 2009 8:58 am

    I thought I read somewhere that Quinoa was a “complete” protein. Menaing it has all of the amino acids.

  55. Ozlen permalink
    August 6, 2009 9:44 am

    Dunno. I bought the same box and thought to myself the same thing when I got home. The downside of shopping with 3 kiddies, get it in the cart ASAP and get out the store mentality… I wish I had the receipt I would return it as oat bran clearly is a better choice. But somehow I will eat this.

    have you tried sprouted chia seeds?? Or Chia bran?? got it from Shiloh farms and have been consuming it.

    And love the ABU!! Thanks.

  56. August 6, 2009 1:30 pm

    I am a huge fan of the quinoa. I don’t do the oats…

    Quinoa (not the flakes) have 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. Flakes are different of course, and are more processed (though I still want to try them).

    They are a complete protein, so for those who don’t eat meat that is sort of important if you aren’t getting proper nutrition. Ultimately if you are eating a variety of foods a “complete” protein really isn’t necessary in one food or even one meal though. Needing a “complete” protein is sort of a vegetarian myth.

    Here’s why I love quinoa. It isn’t a grain. It is actually a seed (buckwheat is also not a grain). I can eat it like rice or oatmeal and it won’t screw with my body. It is more nutritionally dense calorically than grains yet it acts like a grain when cooked.

    It also has a lot of iron, which is beneficial for vegetarians and those in need of iron.

    so yes 😉 I am a huge fan of the quinoa!

  57. August 6, 2009 5:08 pm

    Funny you should question the protein content of quinoa vs. oats/oat bran. That very topic came up on a food allery yahoogroup I’m on and no one there can figure out what quinoa gets such high marks for all the protein it has when really, compared to oat bran, it’s actually less. Go figure.

    Well, I guess I’m a day late and a dollar short, but I honored and tagged you with the Honest Scrap Award as well on my blog. Looks like someone already beat me to the punch. Hey, you’re well loved 🙂


  58. elise permalink
    August 6, 2009 9:03 pm

    boo. sorry the quinoa flakes didnt meet the HEAB standard. maybe the nutritionals dont preserve when the quinoa is smashed into flake form? hmmmm.

    enjoy your last bit of vacay

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