You've heard about the health benefits of quinoa. Now find out how to bring this superfood to your table in fresh, fascinating ways.
Looking for ways to integrate wholesome goodness into your diet? Quinoa is one of the fastest-cooking choices you can make, and it's chock-full of nutrients your body loves. We'll tell you all about this superfood, then offer great ways to integrate it into your plan to eat well.
Although quinoa (KEEN-wah) is often referred to as a grain, it is actually the seeds of a plant that is native to South America. Because of its high protein content, the food was referred to as the Mother Grain among the ancient Incas -- quinoa was a sustaining staple of their diet. Today, it remains a key player on the food scene in South America.
There are more than 1,500 varieties of quinoa seeds in many colors, but the most common variety is an ivory-color quinoa. You can find it at health-food stores and well-stocked supermarkets.
Tip: Many health-food stores sell quinoa in bulk, which allows you to buy the exact amount you need for a recipe or to stock up.
One reason quinoa gets lumped into the grains category is because, like a whole grain, it has some major health benefits. To name a few:
Here are basic instructions for cooking four side-dish servings of quinoa (1-3/4 cups cooked quinoa). If you want to cook more, simply use the ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, adjusting the amount of salt to taste and adjusting the pan size as needed. After cooking, be sure to drain off any water, if necessary.
1. Rinse the Quinoa
2. Cook the Quinoa
3. Drain (If Necessary) and Serve
Quinoa has a mild, slightly nutty flavor that's sometimes compared to couscous. As such, it plays nice with a variety of flavors -- and goes with just about anything. A few ideas:
Tip: You can also add raw quinoa, rinsed well, to the soup during cooking time. It will need 15 to 20 minutes to become tender, so time the addition accordingly. Add about 1/2 cup raw quinoa per six main-dish servings.
-Unlike brown rice and other nutrient-packed grains, you can enjoy healthful quinoa which is actually a seed in about 15 minutes. Here's how to cook quinoa. The first step is always to rinse the quinoa. This ensures any bitter outer coating is washed down the drain. Next, using a 2:1 water-to-quinoa ratio, add the quinoa to a saucepan. Here, I'm using two cups of water to one cup of quinoa. Bring this mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Leave the quinoa alone, letting it simmer for 15 minutes. Now, hopefully, you have clear lids for your saucepans because the way you know for sure that the quinoa is done is when it looks like it is popped open. Yup, just like popcorn. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and it's ready to add to any recipe.