I get frustrated with new health studies because just when I think I have most of the knowledge I need to maintain a healthy lifestyle someone will come out and say something that proves otherwise. Or they’ll qualify it by saying, “Don’t eat ROASTED almonds. Eat RAW almonds.” Okay… good to know. Or that too MUCH fish oil is bad for you. Okay, so maybe I don’t need those supplements. Too much information becomes confusing to me. So I got to a point where I decided to stop learning and just go with what I know now with the mindset of, “Eh, it won’t kill me.”
But then someone told me to eat quinoa instead of brown rice and at first I rolled my eyes but after learning about it I feel the need to spread the word! I am all about quinoa! Despite the fact that it has been a major crop in South America for over 6,000 years, I had no idea what it was until a year ago. Pronounced “KEEN-wah” it’s technically a seed that grows in the Andean region but once cooked it resembles a grain and is therefore called a “pseudograin”. I now eat this instead of brown rice. Not that brown rice is bad for you. It’s still good but quinoa has been dubbed the “Mother of all Grains” due to it’s incredible nutritional content. It has the same nutritional content as brown rice and them some. Below are a few things it has over brown rice:
*Highest protein content of any grain at 12% – 18%
*Gluten-free so easy to digest
*High in magnesium and iron which helps maintain and build muscle
*Contains enough lysine to qualify as a complete protein. Lysine is one of the nine essential amino acids you must get from your diet
*Contains potassium and folate (one of the B vitamins)
The taste is slightly nutty but similar to rice so it has lots of possibilities. When I make it as a side dish I like to add a dollop (one of my favorite words) of lemon flavored olive oil and some sliced almonds and dried cranberries or cherries. Yum! Or I put it in a bowl and add baked veggies and some cut up chicken or fish and a little soy sauce. I even read a great idea on Wikipedia to use it as a breakfast food by adding honey, almonds and berries! Add it to salads too!
It’s easy to cook. One cup of quinoa with two cups of water. Bring to a boil then let it simmer for about 12-15 minutes. That’s it! Below is what it looks like before and after it’s cooked. All the grocery stores carry this stuff. You probably just never noticed it before. It’s light, fluffy and has a little tail sticking out so it looks a little funny but just ignore that and enjoy!