What is Quinoa? Find out more about this Healthy Food!

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Due to the new trend towards grain-reduced or grain-free diets, either due to celiac disease or simply preference, a little-known seed has been gaining popularity in leaps and bounds: Quinoa. Pronounced “keen-wah,” this seed is similar in size and texture to rice and barley. Ground, it can also be used as a replacement for whole wheat flour in baking (when switching, use half quinoa flour and half whole wheat). Quinoa can be included in diets focused on alkaline foods unlike many grains.

So what is quinoa? Grown in South America, quinoa has been a staple in the cuisine of the area for hundreds of years. It primarily grows in the Andes Mountains, and contains every essential amino acid, making it one of the few non-animal products that are a complete protein. And for those with gluten sensitivities, quinoa is a fantastic alternative to rice, barley, and pasta as it’s entirely gluten free. For those looking to reduce their cholesterol intake, quinoa is also cholesterol free while still being rich in heart-healthy fats.

At only 160 calories a serving, rich in fiber, protein, and several essential vitamins and alkalizing minerals, quinoa is believed to be one of the healthiest grain-style foods available.  The nutritional value of quinoa is tremendous when compared to most processed grains.

To prepare by itself or to be combined in other quinoa recipes, simply rinse the seeds, place them in a pot and cover with water or cooking stock at a ratio of one part quinoa to two parts liquid. Bring to a boil, turn the heat off for one minute, and then turn it back on low for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Enjoy!