Quinoa – What Makes This Super Grain So Super (though not really a grain)

 

Quinoa has gone from complete obscurity to a household name in just the last few years.  What was once an ancient South American grain only mentioned in history books is now found in cooking magazine, restaurant menus, and the bulk grain section of neighborhood supermarkets.  It begs the question: why?  What’s so great about quinoa?

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quinoa quick tip:

Place raw quinoa into a wire mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.
The seeds have a natural protective coating that, when cooked, can leave an unpleasant aftertaste (although it is not harmful).

Let me try to summarize the reasons that I believe factored into the rapid wide-spread adoption of this recently unknown ingredient:

Quinoa is easy to cook

If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa. If you can’t cook rice, trust me, there is hope for you yet.

Quinoa is nutritious

Quinoa has it all – fiber, vitamins, minerals, and all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein all by itself. Isn’t that amazing?!

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free

An increased awareness of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and other special dietary needs have put quinoa in the spotlight.

Quinoa is versatile

There are endless possibilities for the way you can incorporate quinoa into your meal plan. Here are just a few examples:

  • Serve it fresh as a hot side dish. Prepare it as you would plain rice, or make a pilaf with onions and mushrooms.

  • Chill it and add small dices veggies or fruits for a hearty grain salad.

  • Add it to your leafy green salad or a hot soup for added bulk and nutrition.

  • Have a sweet tooth? You can even make quinoa rice pudding!

Now that you know why you should be cooking with quinoa, it’s time to learn how to cook and serve this amazing grain that technically isn’t a grain.  I have a hands-on session that goes into detail about the benefits of quinoa, the many ways it comes packaged in the store, and the variety of methods you can use to prepare and serve it to your friends and family.