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The Grateful Plate Blog
August 7th, 2018Posted by Jenny Markowitz

Quinoa: The Not So New Whole Grain You Should Still Be Eating

  • Quinoa and Vegetables

 

No, it’s not the new superfood on the block, but that doesn’t mean quinoa has faded from the limelight. This superfood is here to stay and if you’re still not well acquainted, it’s time to embrace and taste the healthy trend turned staple.

 

Not sure where to begin? Here are the basics:

 

It’s pronounced keen-wa.

 

That little tail? Don’t worry, it’s just the germ and it’s normal for it to pop out of the quinoa when cooked

 

Which is best - red, white, or black? Nutritionally, they’re all comparable, so opt for what tastes best to you, or go wild and mix them together.

 

Red and black quinoa are a little chewier than white, which is why those are the ones often used in salads and cold dishes

 

White quinoa tends to taste less bitter than black and red

 

Quinoa typically cooks in 15-20 minutes, quicker than many whole grains

 

Eating quinoa doesn’t cause a dramatic spike in insulin production (which may be because it is technically a pseudocereal related to spinach and amaranth) - a perk if you have diabetes

 

How about the flavor?

 

Quinoa is tasty - a little nutty, but pretty mild. It’s filling, easy, and a nutrition powerhouse, so we’re not surprised it has secured a seat in the superfood hall of fame. Quinoa has a lot to offer on the nutrition front. It:   

 

Is loaded with antioxidants, which essentially fight potential damage in the body

 

Harbors a ton of vitamins and minerals; bring on the vitamin c, magnesium, iron, and even omega 3 fatty acids

 

Is one of the few vegetarian complete proteins that provides all 9 essential amino acids making it one of the few vegan sources of complete protein

 

Is full of fiber; half a cup has almost 3 grams

 

Don’t run the next time you see quinoa on a menu. If you don’t want to wait that long for a taste, it’s simple to make at home. Take a page from my book where there’s frequently a cooked batch in the fridge (I do white, and it will last through the work week) to make satisfying salads or impromptu breakfast bowls.

 

If you don’t feel like cooking, Grateful Plate frequently has their delicious take of quinoa on the menu as a compliment to dishes such as Za'atar Chicken and Apricot Miso Glazed Salmon.  The served variety includes options such as…

 

Herbed Quinoa

Parsley Red Quinoa

Quinoa Almond Pilaf

Lemon Pesto over Quinoa

Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Cabbage & Carrots

Greek Quinoa & Vegetable Bowl

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds over Quinoa

Coconut Quinoa Dried Cherry Pilaf

Red Quinoa Pilaf with Swiss Chard & Leeks

 

Want to learn about another food or health and wellness topic? Email us here.

 

About Jenny

Jenny a Philadelphia-based Registered Dietitian who helps women, children, and their families understand how to eat to feel better. She believes that good health starts in the kitchen and that fostering a nourishing relationship with food leads to a happier, healthier, and more balanced life. Learn more about Jenny at https://www.nutritionwithjenny.com/.