5 Reasons You Should Eat Quinoa
1) It tastes GOOD. Quinoa has a mild and slightly nutty flavor, is a little crunchy, and has similar texture to couscous. See recipes below. Yum.
2) It is nutritious. It has the highest protein content of all the whole grains and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber- plus it’s gluten-free, if you’re into that kind of thing. It has all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein. In fact, I was surprised to find out it actually has more grams of protein and calcium per serving than many meats and dairy products.
3) It has loads of health benefits. Quinoa gives you wings! I find that it satisfies me the way meat does by being just as filling and nourishing. Quinoa is good for celiacs (gluten-free), diabetics (low sugar content), and weight loss (high fiber). Bitter whole grains, like quinoa, help reduce fat in the blood stream, thus cleansing the arteries. It also strengthens and tonifies the kidneys. I’m learning all sorts of new things here…
4) It’s versatile. You can substitute it in virtually any recipe calling for grain. I have used it in salads, as a breakfast cereal, in stirfry, and even cookies! In some health food stores you can also find quinoa flour to substitute for wheat flour in baking.
5) Andean warriors used it as their superfood. [If this is true, then why do all those CrossFit-Paleo dieters hate on it?!] Quinoa is an ancient staple food of the Incas; they called it “the mother grain.”A pretty cool factoid, but not exclusively why I eat it.
Some of my favorite recipes:
- We just made these Quinoa & Chickpea Veggie Patties a few weeks ago with DirectionFive. yum!
- Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
- Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bake
- Quinoa with Currents, Dill, and Zucchini
- Quinoa Pecan Muffins
I often use my leftover quinoa as breakfast cereal in place of oatmeal.Put 1-2 cups of cold, cooked quinoa in a small saucepan with a few splashes of your favorite non-dairy milk (or water). As it heats up, you can add any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or coconut flakes. I usually throw in a tablespoon of flax seed meal to add to the fiber content, as well as my favorite sweeteners like brown rice syrup or maple syrup, and some cinnamon.
How to: cook quinoa
To cook quinoa, simply measure a 2:1 water/quinoa ratio, just like brown rice. Make sure to rinse your quinoa first under cold water a few times- this is important because it washes away the natural coating (called saponin) and gets rid of the bitter flavor. Combine with appropriate amount of water in a small pot, then simmer on low, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain remaining water, if any, and fluff with a fork.