You may have heard of quinoa but have you ever given it a taste? If not, hopefully after reading this blog post you’ll want to go find some quinoa to try!
Quinoa has become rather popular over the last 5-10 years in the United States but its actually been around for centuries! Quinoa originates from high up in the Andes Mountains (in South America) and is typically harvested at the end of March.
The Incas used to considered quinoa to be sacred and referred to it as the chisaya mama (meaning mother of all grains). The actual botanical name for quinoa is Chenopodeum which translates to goose foot. Quinoa got this name because the leaves of the plant it grows on kind of looks like a goose foot.
You might hear quinoa called a super food, this is because it is packed with nutrients! Quinoa is also a complete protein, which means doesn’t need to be paired with another protein in order to provide your body with all the protein it needs. The list below reviews some of the main nutrients found in quinoa:
- Fiber: good for digestion and helps you feel full longer
- Iron: transports oxygen in the body
- Potassium: important for proper nerve and muscle function
- Magnesium: needed for metabolism (breakdown of food)
- Vitamin E: an antioxidant (protects cells from damage)
Basically, your body will be happy when you eat quinoa!
Quinoa is good in many dishes and some people like to eat it by itself. Just make sure that you rinse your quinoa before cooking it! Otherwise it will taste bitter and not many people like bitter tasting foods.
Here’s some ideas on how to incorporate quinoa into your diet:
- Add it to a salad
- Put some in a burrito (like you would with rice)
- Add some fruit and eat it for breakfast
- Use it in a casserole
- Bake with it – cookies, breakfast bar, etc
- Add your favorite spice/herb to make it a side dish
- Add it to your favorite soup
Quinoa grows on stalks that can be three to nine feet tall! There are over 120 types of quinoa but the main types you’ll find at the store are: white quinoa, red quinoa, black quinoa, and sometimes a mixture of all three.
Information for this post came from medlineplus.gov and wholegrainscouncil.org