By now, you’ve all heard of quinoa (pronounced kin-wa.) The Incans referred to quinoa as “the mother of all grains,” even though it’s actually not exactly a grain but a member of the beet family. In ancient times, quinoa was THE number one nutritional food staple that gave warriors stamina.
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it a delicious healthier alternative to white rice or couscous.
It’s health benefits are numerous. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids (phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, histidine, leucine, and lysine) required by infants and growing children. The body does not synthesize these chemicals, making it essential to include them in one’s diet in order to obtain them.
Quinoa is also:
- High in protein
- A good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron
- Gluten free
- Easy to digest
- Easy to grow: Only 2-4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout
A good antioxidant
Here’s how to prepare it:
(Cooking time: 15-20 minutes)
Rinse first; this is important. Quinoa usually comes with a bitter coating called saponin. If you rinse and you don’t see the water turn soapy, then this brand of quinoa you purchased has already removed it for you!
Optional: you can also toast the quinoa first to bring out the nutty taste. Feel free to experiment by adding salt and spices as it boils to add flavor.
Put 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of water together in a pot and bring to boil, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes. (makes 4 servings)
Remove from heat and take off lid for a few minutes
Fluff with fork
Interesting recipe: Add raisins and almonds or other similar yummy treasures while cooking.
By the way….Try quinoa for breakfast! Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries.
“Goes good” with….almost anything! I usually prepare it hot with cauliflower, squash, and sweet potatoes.
Also good cold: After it cools down, toss in green onions, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and celery and drizzle with lemon/salt/olive oil dressing.