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Quinoa is a grain-like seed that is hard to pronounce. (It’s keen-wah by the way). No matter how you say it, no one can deny that it punches above it’s weight class in terms of nutritional content. Quinoa has a long history of being a staple of the South American diet, and it has recently experienced a revival as a nutritional staple food in the US.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is the relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. It’s a seed, not a grain, although it is cooked similar to rice and can easily stand in as a rice substitute in most dishes. It’s fluffy and light when cooked, and tastes like a hearty grain.
What are the nutrients in quinoa?
- Complete protein
- Use as a rice substitute.
- Make a chilled salad.
- Add to a soup.
- Make into homemade granola bars.
- Use as a hot morning breakfast cereal.
- Make vegetarian quinoa burgers.
The average person need 25 – 30 grams of fiber per day to regulate digestion. One ¼ cup serving of quinoa contains 2 grams of fiber.
Magnesium-rich foods can help treat migraines by relaxing blood vessels, which prevents the constriction and dilation that occurs during migraines. One ¼ cup serving of quinoa contains 22% daily value of magnesium.
Manganese helps your body utilize nutrients like thiamin and biotin. It also helps you maintain nerve health and bone health. One ¼ cup serving of quinoa contains 47% daily value of manganese.
Iron in the diet is especially important for menstruating females. One ¼ cup of quinoa contains 22% daily value of iron.
Quinoa is a complete protein. This makes it a great high protein meat alternative that is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Copper helps your body utilize iron and produce the pigment called melanin, which helps protect your skin from the sun. One ¼ cup of quinoa contains 19% daily value of copper.
Great, now what can I do with it?
Quinoa tastes pretty bland all on it’s own. Luckily, there are a few easy and tasty ways to incorporate quinoa into your weekly diet.
Quinoa contains more nutrition than rice, so substitute quinoa in any dish that calls for rice. This includes burritos, rice and beans, etc.
Make a pasta salad with quinoa instead of pasta, or try this healthy chicken and quinoa salad recipe.
Quinoa added to minestrone soup can make it hearty and nutritious.
Quinoa is a great substitution for oats in homemade granola bar recipes. If you’re pressed for time and can’t make them at home, try these oskri bars.
Substitute for oatmeal for a high protein breakfast.
Veggie burgers made with quinoa and black beans are perfect hearty summertime treats for a weeknight grill session.
Do you have a favorite way to use quinoa in your recipes? Let us know!
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