They say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and while I’m a huge fan of apples (particularly honey-crisp apples) for their many health benefits, I’m an even bigger fan of quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) since discovering it several years ago. I am always in search of new, healthy foods but quinoa brings new meaning to the word healthy.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is an ancient grain-like crop from South America, grown mainly for its edible seeds. It’s easy to prepare and cooks up in less than 20 minutes. Known as a super-food because of its high protein content (18%) and the fact that it contains all 9 essential amino acids, it’s a complete-protein source! For a gluten-free vegetarian like, me that is a HUGE deal! Not to mention, quinoa is delicious and can be used in many different dishes, seasoned a variety of ways, served at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Now, maybe you understand why I’m head over heels in love with quinoa!
Quinoa has a bit of a nutty flavor but like tofu, tends to take on the flavor of whatever it’s seasoned with.
How to Eat Quinoa?
These are my favorite ways to enjoy quinoa:
Click on the links to see the entire recipe…
- Breakfast Quinoa: Served warm (seasoned with cinnamon) and agave nectar/maple syrup/brown sugar and berries
- Snack Time: Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Muffins for a quick and healthy breakfast-on-the-go or mid-day snack.
- Side Dish: Garlic Quinoa with Parmesan Cheese - I love it at dinner, seasoned with garlic, onion, etc!
- Main Dish: Vegetarian Sliders (junecleavernirvana.com) Don’t these look amazing
You can eat this ancient grain pretty much any way you like! Add to soup, casseroles, cookies – there are many healthy chips out there as well! Quinoa chips taste great paired with salsa or guacamole. A 12 oz bag of quinoa and black bean chips at Trader’s Joe’s will set you back about $2.69.
Where to Find Quinoa?
You should be able to find it in the natural foods section of your grocery store or near the grain bins. Trader Joes offers a lot of great quinoa products, as does Whole Foods Market. I normally buy several pounds of uncooked quinoa to keep on hand in my kitchen.
How to Cook Quinoa?
Whole Foods Market shows you how to cook quinoa in 3 easy steps! I prefer to cook up a big batch at the beginning of the week, making it easy to warm up for breakfast or add to a salad or other dish. Just season and serve!
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