Spotlight on Quinoa
On Tuesday Kristen posted an amazing dinner recipe that included Mango Quinoa. It wasn’t just the wonderful flavors that were happening in this recipe that got me excited but more the fact that she used a serious power food as her grain. So, I thought it would be fun to not only tell you all the reasons why you should go to your grocery store immediately and get yourself a box but also to give you the amazing nutritional stats of her recipe. I’m confident that by the end of this post you’ll be adding this grain into your weekly meal rotations.
This recently rediscovered ancient grain, pronounced keen-wah, is actually a relative to the leafy green vegetable family. This versatile food is sold in grocery store these days and is usually found among other grains (sometimes in the ‘health food’ section) It comes in 3 colors, red, brown and most popular, white and once cooked yields a light, fluffy texture and subtle nutty flavor.
HEALTH & STATS
Quinoa is a nutritional power-house. Serving for serving it contains twice the amount of protein as rice. But the amount of protein shouldn’t get all the press. Qunioa contains all nine essential amino acids (proteins that must be supplied by the diet), therefore deeming it a ‘complete protein’ – a stat that’s hard to come by!
It’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals, rich in Manganese (antioxidant protection), Riboflavin & Magnesium (both proven to decrease migraine frequency), Folate (critical pre-pregnancy), and our favorite, Fiber (keeping our gut happy!) Because quinoa is not a cousin of the wheat family it contains no gluten, making it typically tolerable for those suffering from celiac disease or wheat intolerances.
Talk about quick and easy! After giving it a good rinse combine quinoa, liquid (1:2 c ratio; water is what I usually use, but low sodium chicken broth is an easy way to add flavor without many calories) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes (covered), fluff with a fork and serve.
And if that wasn’t easy enough for you can throw it all into a rice cooker and walk away (my favorite method, especially in the morning)!
Quinoa is quickly appearing on the shelves in a lot of different forms. Today you can buy quinoa flakes, flour and pasta!
Prepared traditionally its delicious; but, this grain can easily cross the savory to sweet line and be prepared in anything from muffins, pancakes & granola to artichoke stuffing or a crust for your baked chicken or toping your salad at lunch.
Try warming a single serving with milk, cinnamon, nut butter and fruit for a morning ‘oatmeal’ or better yet, make the mango quinoa salad. The nutritional stats are quite impressive!