5 Ways Eating Quinoa Can Improve Your Health
As I find myself constantly on the hunt for the perfect pair to my favorite seasonal flavors—and this time of year, especially, I’m craving vitamin rich, full-flavored meals to get me ready for long outdoor adventures—I’m ever thankful for quinoa to nudge my most fearless creations into deliciousness. Quinoa’s light, fluffy texture and mild, slightly nutty flavor has my taste buds going crazy. The more I learn about this grain-like crop, the more I’m convinced it’s a solution to the cravings of my body.
Quinoa has been cultivated for almost 5,000 years by the Incas and is still a main crop for much of Peru and South America. Thus Quinoa is known as an ‘ancient grain,’ and though it may be ancient, it isn’t really a grain. Quinoa is more closely related to leafy greens, like spinach, beets and chard. The part we eat is the seed and while cooking, the germ will detach itself, becoming visible, little white curly-q’s.
Quinoa’s longevity is testament to its value in our diets. And so I give you 5 very good reasons you should be eating quinoa too:
1. An incredible source of protein
As a complete protein, quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids and can provide up to 17% of your daily requirement; a good choice for anyone with a concern for their daily protein intake.
2. Vitamin rich
When held up to the common cereal, quinoa takes blue ribbon for vitamins and minerals. In addition to its high iron content, quinoa is loaded with magnesium, calcium, fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6 and phosphorous. A true power source of health, this vitamin team is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
You should have a hidden stash of quinoa somewhere in your home simply because of its versatility. Mix a hot batch with honey and almonds for a high protein nutritional breakfast. Or, substitute vegetable stock during preparation and add your favorite dinner meat and/or veggies for a satisfying and delicious dinner.
4. Quick & Easy
Quinoa takes less time than rice. Bring two parts water and one part quinoa to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. You’ll know quinoa is done when all the water is absorbed and the white spiral germ has separated.
5. Gluten Free
As a gluten free and wheat free flour, quinoa is a fabulous option for baking. It’s creamy and slightly nutty flavor a delicious addition to any bread, muffin, and pancake recipe. We recommend quinoa hazelnut muffins or banana quinoa pancakes.
Quinoa is a great addition to any cupboard, versatile, delicious and vitamin rich. Tell us your favorite quinoa creation! Breakfast, lunch or dinner! Looking for a good recipe using this delicious grain? Try our Red Quinoa with Cremini Mushroom and Arugula recipe.