By: Susan Lupackino, MHS, RD, LDN of food is good
Follow food is good on Facebook.
Forget being the Chinese Year of the Snake, 2013 is the year of Quinoa. Quinoa, pronounced, “Keen-wah”, is making global headlines in the food world. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa.
What is Quinoa? Quinoa is primarily grown in the Andes, mainly in Peru and Bolivia. Many ancient Andean cultures considered Quinoa as a sacred grain, referring it to as “chisaya mama” which means “the mother of all grains.” Quinoa is a seed, much like whole grains such as rice or barley.
Packed with Nutrients. Quinoa is a superfood filled with significant amount of nutrient properties. Quinoa has all 9 essential amino acids that we need from our diet. Amino acids are building blocks of protein, required for proper nutrition. One cup of cooked quinoa has about 230 calories, 8 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber.
Heart Healthy. Quinoa contains certain health-supportive fats that protect our heart. About 25% of Quinoa's fatty acids come in the form of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Also, Quinoa contains alpha-linolenic acid or ALA—the omega-3 fatty acid most commonly found in plants and associated with decreased risk of inflammation-related disease.
Cooking Quinoa. Follow these easy instructions for a tasty Quinoa dish:
1 cup Quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 cups liquid, such as broth or water
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
You will need:
Fine mesh strainer
2-quart saucepan with lid
1. Measure quinoa and liquid. Measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid.
2. Rinse the quinoa. Rinsing Quinoa removes its natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Place the Quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Rub and swish the Quinoa with your hand while rinsing, and rinse for at least 2 minutes under the running water. Drain.
3. Dry and toast Quinoa in saucepan. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained Quinoa. Stir for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.
4. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the liquid and the salt and bring to a boil.
5. Lower heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Let stand for 5 minutes, covered.
7. Fluff and eat! After 5 minutes, remove the lid, fluff the Quinoa gently with a fork, and serve.
Spice it up! You can add nuts and fruits to cooked Quinoa and serve as a breakfast cereal. For a twist on your favorite pasta recipe, use noodles made from Quinoa.
Quinoa is a great food for anyone looking for a healthy boost in their diet. If you love to experience healthy and different foods - Quinoa is your grain. The next time you’re at the supermarket - make your way to the rice aisle and pick up a bag of Quinoa.
A random collection from the world of RunJunkEes