In honor of National Nutrition month, I wanted to talk about quinoa: benefits, what it is, how to make it, etc. I will tell you that I was not too fond of it when I had it in the past however we made a recipe with it the other night and I absolutely loved it.
I’m excited to use quinoa more! Gotta stock up.
And I just found out that quinoa is grain of the month for March. Perfect timing. And in case you are wondering, it’s pronounced KEEN-WAH.
What is Quinoa
Quinoa is a healthy whole grain. It’s a seed of a leafy plant really but is similar to grains. Closer to spinach and beets. The texture to me is like rice, a little crunch with a fluffy type consistency like couscous.
Quinoa is high in amino acids, a complete protein and high in potassium and calcium. You can read more about quinoa benefits on the Whole Grains Counsil website. I have heard Quinoa is low in gluten, maybe even gluten free, so it’s the perfect substitute for other grains. It’s also a good source of fiber and is easily digested.
Where To Find Quinoa
You can find quinoa in pretty much any grocery store now but you can also find it at health food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It comes in a variety of colors but you will mostly see the yellow and red varieties. I have only purchased it prepackaged but they also have it in bulk in some stores.
How To Make Quinoa
First run water over the quinoa to rinse the saponin’s (a bitter tasting coating) away. You should have seen me trying to rinse and drain. The package said to put the seeds in a strainer and then rinse. I thought for sure the quinoa seeds would go through even our smallest strainer and sure enough, they did. Lesson: go with your gut.
It did give another option to pour into pot and drain from that which I also tried and didn’t succeed but I should have just known to FIRST put it in a bowl or pot, run water over it and then drain it in the strainer (because it expands a bit).
Live and learn. I have told you before that I don’t cook….and now you see the reason why. Go ahead and laugh LOL I am going to learn, mark my word!
After some research, I have found that there are many ways to make quinoa. We came up with our own recipe the other night so be on the lookout tomorrow for our Quinoa Burgers: Pizza style recipe. But there are so many other ways to make quinoa and believe it or not it’s not only for lunch or dinner. You can enjoy it for breakfast too.
I can’t wait to try some of the quinoa recipes I found on Pinterest like:
- Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
- Quinoa Edamame Salad
- Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
Oh and don’t miss these 10 Ways to Cook Quinoa from my friend Tiffany.
Do you have any quinoa book or recipe recommendations?