Superfoods That Begin with “Q” – Quinoa
It may look like rice or couscous, but this mildly nutty, grain-like staple is actually a seed related to green leafy vegetables like kale and Swiss chard. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is one of the only grains or seeds that provide the nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves. This “super grain” is high in fiber, is a complete protein and contains iron, magnesium, and manganese. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. It’s easy to prepare and very satisfying!
Most people are more familiar with the beige variety, but red and black quinoa are starting to show up on more grocery store shelves. The little seeds are a great alternative to grains or meat, and can be substituted for pasta, rice, and couscous or added to soups or salads for an extra protein boost.
Quinoa of any color is prepared much like rice. Some people also like to soak it in cold water for a few hours or rub it between their fingers while rinsing in order to remove it’s coating, which can have a bitter taste. (Note: Some brands are pre-washed, so check the package when you purchase!) When it comes to cooking, most recipes and package instructions call for one cup of quinoa to 1-1/2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil,reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the grains have become translucent and appear to have “sprouted” (aka they get a little white tail). Here is a good video that shows how: http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-make-quinoa
Other Q Superfoods
By Kathy Casey