Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the Menu: Quinoa

(pronounced /ˈkiːnoʊ.ə/ or /kwɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa)
So fun to say. :)

I'm one of those girls that likes to try new things, especially when it comes to foods. I've never been scared of a little variety. Last weekend I purchased some quinoa in bulk from Publix Greenwise and have been wanting to try it! I did a little research and found that it takes 1.5 cups water to 1 cup quinoa and only 15 minutes to cook (like rice). I'm going to cook up a big batch of it to use for different recipes this weekend.

Here are a few that I found...
The Shrimp and Quinoa is my first experiment for dinner tonight!

Quinoa Information:

Quinoa has been produced in South America since 3000 B.C., and although the Spanish conquistadors all but eliminated the existence of quinoa in an attempt to destroy the South American natives and their culture, quinoa is still an important seed crop for human consumption in the Andean region of South America.

Quinoa is able to grow in the severe cold and high altitude of the "altiplano" region of the Andes. Although quinoa is considered a grain, it's technically the seed of a plant related to the beet, chard and spinach plants, and has been classified as a pseudo-cereal.

Quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in any dish from soup to salad. The major quinoa producing countries are Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, and although North American farmers are growing quinoa, they have been unable to match the quality of the quinoa grown in the Andean countries.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

  • Nutrients: Quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium and manganese. It’s a very good source of protein, vitamin B2, vita­min E, and dietary fiber. It’s a good source of the minerals iron, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.
  • Gluten Free: Quinoa is gluten free, and is a safe alternative for wheat/gluten intolerant individuals, and celiac disease sufferers.
  • Weight Loss: Quinoa has been found to be more satiating than wheat or rice, and may be exploited for it’s potential impact on eating behavior.
  • Malnutrition: A study by the Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry in Sweden has demonstrated the effectiveness of quinoa as an infant food for undernourished children.
  • Protein: Quinoa not only has high protein content, but the protein is of an exceptionally high quality. It contains all the essential amino acids, making quinoa an excellent protein source for vegetarians. Quinoa is being considered by NASA as a crop for Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) because of its high protein value and unique amino acid composition. The CELSS concept will utilize plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and generate food, oxygen, and water for the crew of long-term human space missions.

Info from: Elements4Health


Kim In Texas said...

Please post what you think of it. I keep forgetting to try it. I am gluten intolerant but usually have rice or potatoes for a starch instead. Like I said, I just forget about it. If I do remember, I'm not sure what to do with it.

Casey Leigh said...

Hey Kim!

I posted my review here:

Have a great Friday!