(OrganicJar) Quinoa is a very highly nutritious food that very few people know about. It's miscategorized as a grain, but it's actually a seed. Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient food known by the Incas as the "mother of grains". They used the seed of this plant as one of their chief sources of nutrition and
has been cultivated in South American Andes since at least 3,000 B.C.
Quinoa is considered a high-protein "grain", 12-18% protein. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. This makes it extremely well balanced for human and animal nutrition. Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat (lysine is an amino acid that's scarce in the vegetable kingdom), along with cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. The quinoa seed is has a lower sodium content and is higher in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. It's particularly high in iron with just a 1/2 cup containing 8mg and a hefty 5 g of fiber.
It also contains Vitamin E, several B Vitamins and albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to anyone's diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition.
Preparing and Eating Quinoa:
You can use quinoa to make flour, soup, put on cold in salads or substitute for rice in any recipe. The seeds cook very quickly, in only 15 minutes. Just take 1 cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water, put them in a pan. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 15 min. That’s it! Quinoa can be found in most health food stores or you can order online.
Quinoa is one of my favorite foods. It comes in a range of colors from ivory to pinks, brown to reds, or almost black depending on the variety, however the most common is white and red. The seeds are small in size, flat with a pointed oval shape and look like a cross between a sesame seed and millet. As it cooks, the outer germ around each grain twists outward forming a little white, spiral tail, which is attached to the kernel. The grain itself is soft and delicate and the tail is crunchy which creates and interesting texture combination and pleasant "crunch" when eating the grain.
If you haven't tried this amazing food, I highly recommend you do. It's extremely inexpensive and so easy to prepare.