Quinoa is a recently re-discovered ancient grain once considered “the gold of the Incans.” It has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and has a nutty flavor and it only takes 15 minutes to cook. Since quinoa is still a relatively overlooked product, I will teach you about it from the beginning starting with the basics, how do you pronounce it? There are two different options you can say “kee-NO-wah” or “KEEN-wah” –either way is correct.
Now you’re probably wondering exactly what is quinoa? Quinoa is a grain-like crop that is grown primarily for the edible seeds. I say it is grain-like because it is actually a pseudocereal, which means it is a broadleaf plant rather than a member of the grass family like true cereals and grains. Quinoa is closely related to beets and spinach. You will most likely find it in the organic section of your grocery store and in health food stores.
Finally, you might be wondering– why is it so healthy and how can it benefit me? Quinoa has the most protein of any grain, you can use it as a meat substitute which makes it great for vegans and vegetarians. It is a great source of vitamins such as E, B2, and B6, and minerals such as magnesium. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels and that can help prevent migraine headaches and atherosclerosis (sclerosis of the arteries or what some people call “hardening of the arteries”). Consumption of whole grain products and dietary fiber has been shown to also help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack. Now, are you convinced that you should be including quinoa in your diet?