Quinoa is gaining popularity within the gluten-free community for its beneficial aspects, but is still too often bypassed due to its mystique of incorporating it as a flavorful player. Quinoa is actually a very easy ingredient to work with, and is packed with powerful nutritional value.
Quinoa is a “grain-like” crop mainly grown for its seeds, which are edible. Rather than a grain or cereal though, it is actually more closely related to beets and spinach, and is categorized as a chenopod.
Quinoa has very high nutritional value and protein content, and contains the perfect combination of essential amino acids. These characteristics identify quinoa as a “complete protein” amongst plant foods. This special chenopod is gluten-free, easy to digest, and high in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber. In a quarter cup, quinoa packs five grams of protein, only three grams of fat, and as little as five mg of sodium.
Cooking quinoa is as simple as making rice. Simply combine two parts water or broth to one part quinoa, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes until all liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has a small “ring” around its edge. Now the quinoa is ready to be seasoned with a little seasoning and eaten alone, or incorporated into your favorite meal … or one of ours.
Watch for our upcoming recipe, “Pork, Asparagus, and Confetti Quinoa," packed full of color, nutritious ingredients, and delicious flavors featuring quinoa.