Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) - is a delicious addition to the diet. It is not technically a cereal grain
like wheat or oats, but has been cultivated and eaten as a cereal for
thousands of years by South Americans. Quinoa is the tiny seed of the
Chenopodium Quinoa, a leafy plant that is a distant relative of spinach
Quinoa was called the "mother grain" by the Incas
(chisiya mama). Now, as people in the rest of the world learn more
about Quinoa, they're discovering that its ancient nickname was well
deserved - Quinoa is indeed a nutritional powerhouse.
Quinoa's protein content, about 16 percent, is higher than that of any other
grain. Wheat also has a high protein content, about 14 percent, but the
protein in wheat and most other grains is lacking in the amino acid
lysine, which Quinoa has in abundance. In fact, the amino acid
composition in Quinoa is almost perfect. The World Health Organization
has judged the protein in Quinoa to be as complete as that in milk. In
addition, Quinoa contains more iron than most grains, and is a good
source of calcium, phosphorus, folate, and many B vitamins.
a serving of whole grains, such as Quinoa, at least 6 times each week
is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high
cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular
A 3-year prospective study of 229 postmenopausal
women with cardiovascular disease, published in the July 2005 issue of
the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings
of whole grains each week experienced:
Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that
narrows the vessels through which blood flows.
Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial
COOKING QUINOA: Quinoa cooks very quickly, and is cooked similar to rice.
Here is how to cook Quinoa:
I like to cook it a little less time than suggested on the box, or
with a little less water, to make sure the Quinoa does not get a "mushy"
consistency when cooked. I would suggest doing what it says on your
package the first time, and see how it comes out, then adjust
accordingly in the future. You can turn heat off early and allow it to
finish absorbing water to save energy. If it is too soft, use less
water the next time.
1 cup of quinoa plus 2 cups water to a pot that holds approximately 1 1/2
- Bring to a boil Reduce heat to simmer.
- Cover and cook 10-15
- Turn off heat for last minutes and allow grains to absorb moisture for a while
- Stir, add your favorite seasonings, or cool to use with salad at a later time.
grain, when cooked, will look almost translucent, and you will see a
ring along the edge of the grain called the "germ ring". This is normal.
How we eat our Quinoa:
Hot: I enjoy eating Quinoa seasoned as we would rice, with some butter;
or at times we add Olive Oil, sea salt to taste, and a seasoning like
Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb seasoning.
I also make a cold salad side dish with Quinoa by stirring in the
following cut in small pieces - onion (any kind including green), garlic, celery, green pepper, tomato, sliced black olives - in a quantity that
seems right for the amount of Quinoa I cook, then stir all together with
some low fat Italian Dressing to taste, and keep in the refrigerator,
If you would like to learn how to grow Quinoa, please visit this link.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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