Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-WAH, is often referred to as one of the world’s healthiest foods. It also ranks as one of the most confusing food items by people across the country. As it is a staple item in our pantry, we wanted to fill you in on why it should be in yours too!
For those who have never had it, quinoa is comparable to rice or buckwheat with a more earthy flavor. This gluten-free, non-GMO option is actually a complete protein, meaning it provides all nine essential amino acids. These amino acids must be obtained through food as your body cannot produce them on its own. Quinoa is the ONLY plant-based protein that provides all of these amino acids; other foods such as rice, wheat and other grains are missing at least one.
Quinoa comes in many varieties, but the most common seen in stores are white, red, black and a combination of all three. All come packed with the same nutrients, taste and cooking options.
1 cup of cooked quinoa contains all of the below nutrients:
Protein: 8 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Manganese: 58% of Daily Allowance
Magnesium: 30% of DA
Phosphorus: 28% of DA
Folate: 19% of DA
Copper: 18% of DA
Iron: 15% of DA
Zinc: 13% of DA
Potassium: 9% of DA
Vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, Calcium and vitamin E.
222 calories, 39 g. carbs, 8 g. protein, 4 g. fat.
We use quinoa as a replacement for rice, pasta, couscous and oatmeal as it works beautifully as a side-dish or in a stew, soup or roast. Below are a few of our favorite recipes as well as basic instructions on how to cook it.
Please comment below with your favorite quinoa recipe!
Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Turkey Chili
Chicken Quinoa Fried “Rice”
Slow Cooker Overnight Quinoa Oatmeal
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water or broth (we usually use Chicken or Vegetable broth as it adds great flavor).
Bring quinoa and liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Yield: 3 cups cooked quinoa
Note: Quinoa often benefits from a light rinse before cooking. We use a small, metal strainer under running water for 1-2 minutes.