Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa, What is it and How Do I Use it in My Diet

Brief history and practical uses for Quinoa, now found in most U.S. grocery stores.
Quinoa (keen-wah) is considered an ancient food product used as a major staple by the Inca Indians in South America. It is also referred to as the "mother grain." 
Most quinoa still comes from South America although growth and research are being conducted in Colorado due to its higher elevations and cooler climate where quinoa seems to thrive.
Nutritionally Dense:
The reason for Quinoa's popularity is due to its nutritional content, including:
• fiber
• calcium
• copper
• zinc
• phosphorus
• magnesium
• iron
• protein; consisting of a complete set of amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, cystine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, valine.
• gluten-free making it suitable for celiac patients and even dog treats for dogs with food allergies.
Buying Quinoa:
You can find Quinoa in just about any grocery store or specialty foods market. Check the references below for more information.
Quinoa preparation:
The Quinoa grain needs to be soaked and boiled in order to remove the bitter saponin compounds that are not edible. Follow package directions.
Cooking with Quinoa:
Quinoa is used to make flour for breads, biscuits and cereals, soups and more. Vegetarians may find this an ideal source of amino acids but it can certainly compliment any diet. The sodium content is low which may be a plus for patients with high blood pressure.
Quinoa recipes and information: http://www.quinoa.net or http://www.quinoa.com.

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