I hope you have all run to the grocery store to purchase some Quinoa! I
actually was able to find the red version in one of our local grocery
stores here in Winston-Salem! Today’s post has a reminder of why Quinoa is so good for you and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) was referred to as the “mother of all grains” by the Incas of the Andean region of South America. Quinoa’s nutrition profile includes:
- gluten free
- high in protein, it contains a nearly perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids, making quinoa a complete protein food!
- good source of iron
- relatively good source of vitamin E and several B vitamins.
Quinoa is exceptionally high in the amino acids lysine, cystine, and methionine which are usually are typically low in other grains and legumes. For more nutrition facts on Quinoa, be sure to check out my previous post: Quinoa: Facts and Recipes Part I.
For those who have never cooked quinoa, this will help guide you with some tips on how to cook it:
- Before cooking, quinoa seeds should be rinsed to remove the bitter resinlike coating. Although quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, it is advisable to place the seed in a strainer and rinse again at home before use to remove any remaining residue.
- Quinoa has high oil content, so it should be stored in the fridge to avoid becoming rancid
- Quinoa is coated with saponin, which will give it a bitter taste unless you rinse it thoroughly. Sometimes quinoa has had the saponin removed, which makes life easier.
- It’s better to soak quinoa 15 min – 1/2 hour before cooking, to loosen the saponin, but if you don’t have much time, try five minutes in hot water, and an extra rinse or two.
- Excellent alternative to white rice or couscous.
- Serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries.
- Add to soups instead of rice or barley.
- Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-based and Gluten free baking.
Almond Cranberry Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1 veggie bullion cube
- 1½ cups boiling water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Soak the quinoa 15 minutes in cold water
- Stir the quinoa with your hand, pour off most of the water and drain through a fine mesh strainer
- Shake dry in the strainer, then set the strainer over a bowl or pitcher
- Heat a wide bottomed pan on medium heat.
- Stir and toast the sliced almonds until golden, then remove from pan
- Add the quinoa. Stir and toast until dry and turning color
- Add boiling water, veggie cube, salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick
- Bring back to boil, cover, turn the heat to simmer, cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed
- Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on
- Fluff gently with a fork and serve.
Feel free to share your favorite Quinoa recipe!