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