Most you have been exposed to Quinoa for a few years now. Here's a review on Super food… Quinoa, which is pronounced (KEEN-wah)
The first time a friend told me about Quinoa they had said it was this great rice like grain from China. Ok so sometimes my friends enjoy the benefits of too much red wine and get their facts a little mixed up. At least in this case talking about nutritious foods over a few glasses of wine certainly had them confused.
Quinoa, which is pronounced (KEEN-wah) is not from China but rather from South America. This interesting plant has been cultivated in the Andes for over 4000 years. It is more of a grain than a grass and is from the genus Chenopodium. The plant is harvested for the seeds it produces. These seeds are what we see packaged and sold in both health food stores and mainstream supermarkets.
So what makes this long-standing food so amazing? The Incas treated Quinoa as a sacred crop, which they believed gave their warrior’s stamina, strength and promoted healing. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, it also contains twice as much fiber than other grains.
As a super food for athletes and people with an active lifestyle it does have an amazing pedigree. The following are a few pretty compelling reasons Quinoa should become a part of your nutrition plan:
1. These amazing seeds are very high in protein. In fact they have an almost complete range of amino acids and average about 20% in protein. It is one of the few complete plant based proteins you can consume.
2. Quinoa is low on the glycemic index making it a great complex carbohydrate. The fact that Quinoa is a bit high in complex carbohydrates means it should be consumed in moderation for those on a diet. On the other hand for athletes and active people it is a great fuel source for carb loading.
3. Quinoa is very high in fiber and when it is added to your diet, quinoa can help promote digestive health and keep you regular.
4. Quinoa is a great source of iron, magnesium, copper, calcium, and phosphorus. Quinoa is one of the most mineral dense grain like foods you can eat.
5. Quinoa is a great source of vitamin E, Folate and Riboflavin quinoa is also very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.
Quinoa comes in different colors. There are three variations of Quinoa, white, red, and black. The white Quinoa is the most common and considered regular Quinoa along with dark red quinoa, which is also considered common. With over 100 types of quinoa, it is important to note that the white and red quinoa make up the bulk of what is cultivated. The two types of quinoa white and red are the most popular of all. Once the Quinoa is cooked, the white Quinoa turns tan to gold color and the dark red quinoa turns brown in color. The taste between the two types of Quinoa is different. The white quinoa is lighter and more like a white rice flavor with the red Quinoa a bit stronger in flavor, and nuttier. As for the black Quinoa it has a similar nutty flavor as the red.
If you are going to try Quinoa the prep and cooking is fairly easy. When it coming to cooking it is very much like rice or oatmeal just add one part of the quinoa to two parts liquid in a saucepan. After the mixture is brought to a boil, just simmer and cover. One cup of quinoa usually takes 15 minutes to cook. When cooking is complete, it will have the consistency of somewhere between rice and oatmeal.
Since Quinoa is gluten-free there has been a move towards baking with quinoa flour. While it is possible to make baked goods and pastas out of 100% Quinoa flour, you will find that baking with Quinoa flour creates a heavy and dense texture in the baked goods. I tried some Quinoa cookies the other day and they where pretty hard so you may want to experiment carefully or try mixing in some oatmeal or rice flour to soften the texture.
From a health and nutrition standpoint Quinoa is an amazing food and offers great vitamin and mineral content, high in plant-based protein along with great flavor plus gluten-free. It may not be to every ones liking but it sure is worth giving quinoa a try.
A recognized health and wellness presenter, fitness trainer and now primal health coach in the Inland Northwest. Now in his eighth year of bringing health and wellness through his writing, teaching and coaching, Judd delivers his well-rounded message of mindfulness, nutrition and fitness to readers and clients alike.