Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is the new superfood that does the body good – and tastes great!
So why is quinoa a superfood? It’s one of the healthiest foods you could eat! Here’s why:
Quinoa is a great source of non-animal protein, providing much more protein than most grains. Also, it’s a complete protein source – it provides all nine essential amino acids (those are the ones that your body can’t make by itself and needs to obtain through food). 1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein – that’s twice that of the same amount of rice!
Complex carbohydrates are molecules made up of three or more simple sugars, which takes longer for your body to digest and absorb than simple sugars, like glucose and fructose, found in a lot of processed foods. That means they keep you fuller longer and help stabilize your blood sugar. These are the carbs you want to eat – even on low carb diets!
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other common grains. Gluten allergies and sensitivities are increasing, and many people find gluten-containing foods to cause all kinds of undesirable symptoms, commonly indigestion. Quinoa is gluten free – which means it’s easy to digest for all!
Quinoa is also high in vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin (B2), calcium, vitamin E, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid and beta carotene and low in sodium. For a complete nutritional profile, check out this link: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl
So what are you waiting for? Get cooking! Quinoa is easy to prepare. Here’s how:
Quinoa varieties include white/golden, red and less commonly black grains. When cooked, it makes about 3 times its dry volume.
Quinoa is naturally covered in saponin, which is a protective outer covering on the seed. Most of it is removed after being cultivated and packaged, but to get the best tasting quinoa, rinse it at home too. Run cold water over the quinoa in a fine meshed strainer, gently rolling it between your fingers before boiling it.
To cook the quinoa, add twice the amount of water as quinoa (1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water) in a covered pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to minimum and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The grains will become soft and translucent and the germ separates a little to look like a little tail.
Quinoa has a nice, nutty flavour that is extremely versatile. You can even make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a week to add to meals each day. Here are some easy ways to enjoy it:
- Add to cereal, granola or oatmeal in the morning for breakfast
- Add cooled quinoa to salads or in egg salad sandwiches
- Add a little quinoa to soups or stews
- Use quinoa flour in baking for an added nutty taste and a little protein
- Sprout quinoa to use in salads and sandwiches
Most of all – enjoy!
For a great quinoa cookbook and lots of delicious recipes – check out http://www.quinoa365.com
Reference: Quinoa 365: The everyday superfood by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming