Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a wonderful Superfood that we’ve all heard a lot about over the last couple of years. Why is it so great and more importantly how can we including it in our cooking?
The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron and is a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins.
It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa's protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Quinoa is about 18% protein and just 1/2-cup will provide a child’s protein needs for one day! How amazing is that? The 6-7% fat of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it boasts a low sodium content and also provides valuable starch and fiber. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa is a worthy addition to anyone's diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition.
So now for the big question: how do we cook it and how can we include it in our diet?
A classmate of mine, gave me a great breakfast recipe for the kids:
Boil the Quinoa in a little bit of water until the grains open up, add some almond milk, cinnamon, chopped banana and a little honey to taste…It’s a great alternative to porridge and really does taste good for adults and children alike!
We cook brown rice almost daily in our home as an accompaniment to stews. I mix the quinoa in with the rice and boil them together for a more nourishing alternative. It can also be a substitute for the rice.
Cooked quinoa is excellent in hot casseroles and soups, stews, in stir-fries, or cold in salads. The seeds cook very quickly, in only 15 minutes. Uncooked seeds may be added to soups and stews as you would barley or rice. Cold salads consisting of quinoa and chopped vegetables or cooked beans make a quick, easy, and nutritious dish.
One of my favorite recipes is this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, sooooo delicious:http://www.glowpeople.com/5/post/2013/05/quinoa-salad.html
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