Quinoa — Best Seed You’ve Never Heard Of

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Source: Sweet on Veg

Quinoa is pronounced keen-wah and has a rice-like appearance with a crunchy texture and slightly nutty flavor. It’s a staple in my cupboards because it takes great warm as well as cold. Here are a few other reasons why you should think about giving quinoa a try.

It’s considered a superfood because it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids needed to be considered a complete protein.  This fact alone makes quinoa the perfect super food choice for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone concerned about getting a healthy dose of protein in their diet. Quinoa is especially rich in lysine, the amino acid that is essential for healthy tissue growth as well as repair. Besides protein, quinoa has

  • fiber
  • calcium
  • iron
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium

By adding quinoa to your diet you’ll reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cataracts, and gallstones. For pregnant women, quinoa is a great way to increase iron intake naturally, which is important for baby’s healthy development.

Because quinoa is lower in carbohydrates than other grains, many people substitute quinoa for grains because it is a very filling food and levaes you saistied. This is a great way to stay on a weight loss program without starving.

If you have Celiac disease, this is a wonderful new food to discover.  Because quinoa is gluten-free, and has many of the same characteristics of grains and rice, there are numerous ways to use quinoa in your recipes.

Okay I’m sold on this and want to give it a try, what do I do with this.  You can find this in your store natural food section or in the section of the store where they sell rice.  It can be purchase pre-packaged or loose in a bin. Because of how its harvested its recommended that you rinse your quinoa in a colander lined with cheeseclothbefore you cook it to remove any stones.

Quinoa is cooked similar to rice; usually a 2 to 1, water to quinoa ratio.  Cooked quinoa has a nice light texture and a mild, slightly crunchy and nutty flavor. Once cooked, you can use quinoa in many pilaf dishes, adding vegetables, stocks, and seasonings to taste. Just try substituting quinoa into any of your recipes that call for rice and see how you like it.  Quinoa also makes a nice fluffy side dish all by itself.  Add herbs and seasonings if you like and spoon alongside chicken, fish, or meat for a tasty side dish with great crunchy texture.

Another favorite way to serve quinoa is cold in salads.  Add your favorite protein, spring onions, black beans,  and green bell pepper  into a bowl of cooked and cooled quinoa, toss, and you have a light salad that’s full of flavor.  Mix in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing for even more pizzazz.

Quinoa can be served at any meal, and is available in several forms, even flour. For breakfast, you can serve quinoa with berries, nuts, and milk as a cereal. The flour can be used for baking along with whole grain wheat or as a substitute. Fitting quinoa into your healthy diet is not at all difficult with all these choices.

Here is a great recipe to give a try. http://www.sweetonveg.com/2010/01/quirky-quinoa/

Once you include quinoa in your diet, you’ll be looking for all sorts of ways to serve it.  It won’t be hard to find! This is a very versatile super food. When you give it a try, please let me know I’d love to hear what you did with it. So leave me some comments below.

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