Food Focus: Quinoa
Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is a flavorful, wholesome grain that was first cultivated in Bolivia thousands of years ago. It comes in many colors and there are roughly 120 known varieties of quinoa.
We cook and eat quinoa like many other grains, but, botanically speaking, it’s a relative of spinach, beets and chard. The part we eat is actually the seed, cooked like rice, which is why quinoa is gluten-free. You can even eat the leaves!
While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom.
Recipe of the Month: Quinoa Salad
Food Facts: Quinoa
This little power house is a great source of iron and fiber for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. It also contains many minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.
Additionally it contains high levels of Folate, one of your B vitamins.
This ancient grain, Quinoa is also a complete protein, which means it provides all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health, hence the name “essential.” Your body can’t produce these nutrients itself, so you have to get them frequently through food.
Amino acids support strong muscles, keep our immune systems in tip-top shape and do lots of other stuff to keep our bodies healthy—thing is, not all plant-based proteins are created equal. Wheat, rice and most other grains are missing one or more essential amino acids. So quinoa becomes a very good choice when choosing a grain to eat. It can be used instead of grains that you may be more likely to eat such as rice.