Quinoa: diet game changer

This little seed often mistaken for a grain has made its way into our health-conscious society and has been dubbed a “super-food.” Known to be high in vitamins, contain essential amino acids and minerals, it’s far more healthier than the basic white or brown rice on the side of your dinner plate. Yes, quinoa (keen-wah) has won me over!

When I spotted quinoa at my local Costco, I nabbed a bag, brought it home, and then placed it in my pantry. A week later I decided to give quinoa a try. At first I made it as directed: 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water and let cook for 15 minutes. It came out fluffy and perfectly cooked every time. I topped a delicious grilled chicken salad with it and surprisingly was full for hours. I used it in place of rice when I ate dinner, along side morning eggs for breakfast, and even served it to my little ones that now call it “baby rice.” It has a slightly nutty taste that can easily be taken over by whatever seasoning you throw in it. It’s one of those foods that will take on the flavor around it so you never have to worry about quinoa’s taste not mixing well with other flavors. Besides the versatility of this seed, it packs a ton of health benefits that I like. I love it when food makes me happy and healthy!

 

For those of you with gluten allergies, quinoa is gluten-free!!! It also contains all nine essential amino acids which makes it a valuable addition to anyone needing more protein in their diets. That also means that if you’re vegan, then this seed is for you! It’s high in fiber so those of us that need to add more fiber can get a boost from adding quinoa to our diets.¬† It’s also packing other¬† nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins B1, B2, and B6! It’s great for diabetics to help control sugar levels and is a heart-healthy choice due to it’s small amounts of omega 3-fatty acids. PS. it is also a non-GMO crop!

 

Who knew that such a versatile and healthy crop was being grown and eaten for thousands of years right under our noses by the ancient Incas? It’s so versatile that I’ve read that even NASA is considering it a crop to be grown in space! Want to learn more about quinoa and all its benefits? Check out Healthline for a quick fact reference or The Kitchn for some