Quinoa Nutrition is a new way to add a healthy food to your meals to help you live a healthier life style without sacrificing taste.
What is Quinoa
Many people look at Quinoa and confuse it for some sort of grain, but it is actually a seed that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa was grown over 5000 years ago by the Incan people. It was known as the “the mother grain” in their language. It was a such an important part of the Incan culture, that every year the Inca king would plant the first row of Quinoa with a solid gold spade. The entire ancient Incan civilization spanning from the coast of Chile all the way to the snow capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes was fed by this amazing tiny little seed.
If this is your first time hearing about Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), you’re not alone. It is just gaining more attention today and more people are learning about the nutritional value of this super food. Although it is probably rare to find in most people’s pantries, Quinoa will soon become a staple in most kitchens. The seed has a pellet-like appearance with a slightly crunchy texture and a sort of nutty flavor. Some of Quinoa’s relatives include Swiss chard, beets, and spinach. This little seed, which was once referred to as the Gold of the Incas, is well on its way to becoming well known and a part of the worlds nutrition.
How Quinoa Is Grown
Many people in the United States have never heard of quinoa, but it has been around in South America for over 5,000 years. Residents of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia have been eating it as a staple of their diets for generations.
When the Spanish arrived in South America, they destroyed the quinoa fields and suppressed quinoa production, as it was associated with what the Spaniards perceived as non-Christian, indigenous, ceremonial backwardness. Thus, wheat was cultivated in the Andes region. Their use of the nutritious seed was almost entirely lost. But the knowledge was passed down, and in the 20th century, Americans began cultivating quinoa in the United States.
It is grown in areas of Colorado and once again prospers in the fields of South America. Most quinoa in South America is grown at high elevations of 12,000 feet or more. The arid conditions are just right for the quinoa plant, which thrives in the mountain regions unlike other grains such as wheat. The grain is harvested by hand, cleaned, and then refined for consumption.
Quinao Protein – A Super Food With Nine Essential Amino Acids
Quinoa protein is one of the most complete types of protein you can get. It’s not hard to see why this food is considered one of the best super foods in the world when you take a quick look at the nutrients that Quinoa contains. What you are most likely to here about Quinoa is that it is a good source of protein, but it’s not just any old protein. Quinoa provides complete protein that contains nine essential amino acids. It provides more amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than most other grains. This is why it is labeled so often as a super food. This alone makes it the perfect choice for health fanatics, vegetarians, vegans, or anyone concerned about getting a healthy dose of protein in their diet. The one amino acid that Quinoa is especially rich in is lysine. Lysine is the amino acid that is essential for healthy tissue growth as well as repair.
Quinoa Nutrition Facts
What Can Quinoa Do For You
Quinoa nutrition has more benefits than most people know about. Other than being a complete protein with nine essential amino acids, it is loaded with calcium, dietary fiber, iron, and phosphorus. Magnesium which is also abundant in Quinoa has been recognized for being beneficial for relaxing blood vessels. Magnesium, along with riboflavin, appears to benefit those who suffer from headaches, even migraines. Manganese joins with copper to form an enzyme which guards against cell damage caused by free radicals.
Another added health benefit gained by eating Quinoa is the reduction of the risk of heart disease. More specifically, it not only helps reduce the risk of heart disease, but type 2 diabetes, cataracts, and gallstones as well. Quinoa nutrition provided in your meals is also great way to increase iron intake naturally, which is important for pregnant women to help increase their baby’s healthy development.
Many people substitute Quinoa in their diets with grains such as rice because it is lower in carbohydrates than grains. For those on a weight loss program or diet, adding Quinoa nutrition to your meal is a great way to manage your hunger since it is a very filling food that releases its energy slowly throughout the body. This will satisfy your appetite longer making it easier to keep your self from eating too much without feeling like you are starving.
If you need to eat a gluten-free diet, then this is a new food that is necessary for you. There are numerous ways to add quinoa nutrition to you diet and in your recipes. Since it is gluten-free, and has many of the same characteristics of grains most people normally eat, it can easily be a replacement for those items.
Cooking Quinoa is very easy. Most raw quinoa you buy in the stores is most often pre-rinsed. If it isn’t then all you need to do is rinse it in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Most of the stores that sell Quinoa in a package come with instructions as well. Simply follow the directions on the package. If you purchase it from a bulk bin, then Quinoa is cooked similar to rice; add two parts water for every one part Quinoa. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. It usually only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. It will absorb all of the water just like rice and should have a light, fluffy appearance. Once Quinoa is cooked it will have a nice light texture and a mild, slightly crunchy and nutty flavor.
Once cooked, you can substitute quinoa into any of your recipes that call for rice or it also makes a nice side dish all alone. You can use quinoa in many pilaf dishes, adding vegetables, and seasonings to taste. Try adding herbs and seasonings to it and serve it alongside fish, chicken, pork, or beef for a tasty side dish with great crunchy texture.
Serving Quinoa cold in salads is another favorite way to get a nutritious meal. Try adding ingredients such as spring onions, sweet corn kernels, green bell peppers, kidney beans, and celery into a bowl of cooked and cooled quinoa, toss, mix in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing for some pizzazz, and you have a light salad that’s full of flavor.
You can serve Quinoa at any meal, and is available in several forms, such as flakes and even flour. Use the Quinoa flakes to make a breakfast cereal similar to the consistency of malt-o-meal and add berries, nuts, and milk. The flour can be used for baking along with whole grain wheat or as a substitute. Fitting Quinoa nutrition into a healthy diet is not at all difficult with the number of choices you have.
If you look in your local grocery store around the grain section where you find the rice, you can usually find Quinoa products available. Some of the products available that make it easy to add to you meal are the instant bags that you can cook in your microwave for 90 seconds. They are typically a delicious mix of brown rice and Quinoa. They are very convenient and taste great with just about any meal you can think of serving up.
When you start to add Quinoa nutrition to you diet, you will be looking for all sorts of ways to serve it. If you just look around, you will find all sorts of ways to make healthy, nutritious meals to your diet. It won’t be long before you are making room in you pantry for this very versatile super food.
Quinoa Tacos are one of my favorite dishes to make. They are quick, easy, healthy and taste great. If you want the recipe check it out below.
There are usually some great Quinoa recipes on the back of the packages of Quinoa products that you purchase. Take the time to try them out. They are very easy to make and tasty as well as nutritious.
Here are some examples of the recipes for Quinoa that you will find on the back of the packages.
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 2 Cups Water
- 4 large or 6 medium Green Peppers
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 1/2 sb. fresh Mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 – 28oz can Tomatoes, coarsely diced (reserve juice)
- Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 1 – 12oz jar of Mexican Salsa
- 2 Tbsp dry Sherry
- 10oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup Green Onion, diced
- 1/4 cup Celery, diced
- 1/4 cup Green Pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup Red Pepper, diced
- 6 cups Quinoa, cooked using basic recipe
- 1/4 cup Butter, or Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1 cup Almonds, sliced
- 1/4 tsp. Oregano
- Salt to taste