Ancient Grains: Quinoa

Get the scoop on the nutritious ancient grain quinoa. Read now or pin for later. - Health Happens at Home

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Quinoa (pronouced keen-way) is gaining popularity as a grain. Here's the scoop:

  • Is not technically a grain, but it is eaten like one. We call these pseudo grains. Quinoa is actually a seed (from the same food family as spinach, Swiss chard and beets).
  • Quinoa is a complete protein (unlike other "grains") meaning it contains all of the nine essential amino acids.
  • Quinoa has a higher amount of fat than most grains. The cardio-protective anti-inflammatory kind of fatty acids! (oleic acid and alpha linoleic acid [an omega 3])
  • The outer layer of quinoa contains saponins which are an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient that gives off a bitter taste. So always rinse quinoa well before cooking to reduce the saponins.
  • It's gluten-free
  • It can be ground into a flour
  • Quinoa also contains Vitamin E (in the form of gamma-tocopherol), magnesium, phosphorus, iron, B-vitamins and high amount of antioxidants (especially quercetin, kaempferol)
  • It has a low glycemic index and is high in fiber (mostly insoluble fiber)

To prepare quinoa:

  1. Rinse quinoa well in a mesh strainer. 
  2. Combine one part quinoa to two parts liquid (broth is really good) in a medium saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce head to a simmer and cover the pan.
  5. Cook for about 15 minutes.Cooking is complete when the quinoa becomes translucent and the white germ partially detaches looking like a tail.

Check out this tasty quinoa recipe too!

Here are some of my sources & resources on quinoa you can check out for more information:

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Posted on October 3, 2016 and filed under Nutrition Nibbles.