Its the biggest question I get lately… What is Quinoa? It seems that its becoming a bit more mainstream for those who are trying to make healthy changes in their diet and so everyone is talking about it!
First of all, it is widely called and considered a grain, but to be more technical it is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. Quinoa is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” which is native to South America, and was once called “the gold of the Incas,”because they found that it had great value in increasing the stamina of their warriors.
Now, the best news for vegetarians and vegans is that it is very high in protein. Not only that, but it is a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids including the all important lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Its also a great source of magnesium and iron (did you know magnesium is great for migraines because it helps relax blood vessels? If you are plagued with frequent migraines, try adding Quinoa to your diet!)
It really is a nutrient dense powerhouse of a super food!
It is cooked much like rice, (2 parts water to 1 part Quinoa), and can be a great nutritional replacement in any dish you would use rice for. It has a fluffy texture and a subtle nutty flavor.
It can be expensive at a typical grocery store where it is sold in small packages. I buy mine at Costco and get a 4 lb bag for around ten dollars. An excellent price!
My kids love Quinoa and I attribute that in part to my friend Elizabeth who gave me the idea when she told her boys that its Ninja food! When they asked her why she said, “because when they eat it they yell Keeeeeeeen WA!
Whatever works my friends, whatever works.