Saturday, July 31, 2010

Healthy Foods You Should Include In Your Diet: Quinoa

1.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is seed from a tall, stalky plant (similar to chard, beats, or spinach) common in South America; it has been grown and consumed there for 6000 years.  Recently, it has been grown in Colorado and Canada.  It can be cooked and used like a grain.  You, now, can find it in most grocery stores, though you may have to look in the 'ethnic foods' section.  It is commonly sold in bulk at places like Whole Foods.  Recently, a cliet found a several-pound bag of it at Costco (that should last years).

Quinoa is a great source of iron, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, copper, phosphorous, tryptophan, B6, niacin and thiamine. One cup of cooked quinoa has only 220 calories. It also has 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. 

Cooking Quinoa is easy.  Rinse the quinoa very well and drain it in a colander. This will remove the bitter powder-like coating, called saponin, a natural coating designed to repel bugs that can create a bitter taste.  Use two parts water, one part quinoa.  Put water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Turn burner heat down to a simmer and add quinoa.  Let quinoa soak in water for about 15 minutes.  The outer shell of the quinoa will rupture and it will more than double in size as it soaks up the water.   

Once you have cooked your quinoa, you can use it for a variety of recipes.  Here are a some that I found that looked good (click the link to go to the site for full recipe):

Or just use it in place of wheat or rice in traditional recipes                                                     

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