There is a new brand of quinoa in town, or at least, there will be soon. O.A. Quinoa, a division of O.A. Foods, is bringing its premium, Bolivian quinoa to the US in August. (NOTE: Launch has been pushed off to September.)
Last month, O.A. Quinoa sent me a half pound of white quinoa to try, claiming its quinoa is “33% bigger, tastier and has more nutritional values.”
Is O.A. Quinoa bigger?
Looking at the seeds I received, I could see that the quinoa seeds appeared much larger and more uniform in size than other brands I am accustomed to using. I thought it would be a little more scientific to count the seeds in a quarter teaspoon of three brands of quinoa I had on hand to see how they measured up to one another.
Honestly, though, now that I think about it, I am not sure how scientific this experiment is because I only scooped from the top of each container. Heavier seeds may have settled to the bottom of the containers holding the seeds. Still, I think you can see what I mean about the larger size and greater uniformity of the O.A. Quinoa in the photos.
I counted 174 seeds in the sample I took from a bag of bulk quinoa I purchased at Whole Foods. In the upper right quadrant you can see two gray granules that were definitely not seeds. Please remember to rinse any products you buy from bulk bins because they are easily contaminated.
I counted a grand total of 254 seeds in the sample I took from a Nature’s Earthly Choice package of quinoa. Some of these seeds were so tiny, I was not even sure whether they were seeds or just pieces of seeds. My reading glasses are not strong enough for me to tell–perhaps twenty or so granules that I counted were not really seeds.
Is O.A. Quinoa Tastier?
I was very pleased with the way these seeds cooked up. The cooked quinoa was much much drier than regular quinoa. The granules didn’t stick together the way other brands do, and of course, they were much larger than usual. If you are looking for a premium seed, I think this brand would suit well.
I didn’t notice that the taste was different, but I didn’t actually do a side-by-side taste test with any other brands.
Is O.A. Quinoa More Nutritious?
Every variety of quinoa has its own nutritional profile. Here is how O.A. Quinoa’s nutritional profile compares to that on the Nature’s Earthly Choice package:
|O.A. Quinoa||Nature’s Earthly Choice|
|Calories from Fat||25||12|
|Total Fat||2.8 g||2.5 g|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 mg|
|Sodium||1 mg||0 mg|
|Total Carbohydrate||31 g||29 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2.8 g||3 g|
|Sugars||3 g||0 g|
|Protein||6.2 g||6 g|
The packages do not list the same vitamins and minerals, so it is not possible to compare these nutrients. Two nutrient values worth mentioning from the O.A. Quinoa package are riboflavin (50% of daily value) and phosphorus (23% of daily value).
Overall, I was very pleased with the quinoa I received from O.A. Quinoa. I am eager to see when their quinoa becomes available whether I will find it in local stores or will have to order it online.
Have you tried O.A. Quinoa? I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments.
Full Disclosure: O.A. Quinoa sent me a free sample to review. In addition, O.A. Quinoa is one of my freelance writing clients.