But another food is burrowing through the crowded field of waving wheat. It’s stocked in most grocery stores, yet it’s still not familiar to a lot of people. It’s quinoa (KEEN-wah). And it’s not a grain. It’s a seed, a member of the grass family.
Quinoa comes from the Andes mountains in Peru and Bolivia where it was first cultivated more than 5,000 years ago. It was considered the “mother of all grains” because of its nutritional value. It’s high in magnesium, iron, calcium, and protein. It’s a great source of fiber. It’s low in calories. And it’s gluten free.
Here’s a quick chart to show how much protein you get in a 1/4 cup serving of various grains.
Jasmine rice 3g
Brown rice 3g
Quinoa comes in various colors: creamy white, red, black. It has a fluffy, nutty texture and cooks up in about 20 minutes. Use it as a side dish to accompany meats and vegetables, add it to stew or soups, make it into a salad with cucumber and tomato. You can even eat it for breakfast with a little butter and maple syrup.
If you haven’t tried it before, you’re in for a treat. Most grains are a little bland on their own, so here’s a cooking tip. Instead of adding 2 C of water to 1 C of quinoa, add chicken broth. It won’t taste like chicken at all, just so much richer.
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