Healthy Living A to Z: Q is for Quinoa

Copyright 2014 Rogene A. Robbins
Copyright 2014 Rogene A. Robbins

Qui what? It is pronounced keen-wa. Don’t worry we all have trouble with that one.

Quinoa is the seed of a plant related to beets, spinach and tumbleweed. It was known to the Incas as “mother of all grains” and is gluten free. For questions about cross contamination contact the manufacturer or distributor.

Quinoa is high in protein and is a “complete” protein. Other benefits include being a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus as well as high in magnesium and iron and a good source of healthy fat.

Rinse until water runs clear to remove the naturally bitter coating. Quinoa can replace rice in dishes and as a base for pasta sauce or stir fry. It also works as thickener in soups, stews and casseroles as well as a meat extender in meatloaf, meatballs, etc. Seed or flakes make a nutritious hot cereal. Quinoa is also found in some gluten free pastas and cereals.

Quinoa flakes may be used as oatmeal. Quinoa flour is ground Quinoa seeds which maybe combined with other flours for baking, but does not work well on its own.

If you are worried about getting enough fiber or protein try quinoa. These tiny seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. It also doesn’t hurt that they taste good.

My recipe for Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf with Bacon in available in Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday.  The recipe for Cranberry Quinoa Pilaf may be found in The Gluten Free Good Life.  Both e-books are available at Espirational Books.

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