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What is Quinoa?
Quinoa, grown in South America is an ancient superfood grain. Actually, it's not a grain at all. Rather, it's a vegetable seed! … And botanically it belongs to the beet and spinach family.
The best part about quinoa is that it’s highly versatile, delicious, low in fat and 100% gluten-free. It’s also high in protein which is good news if you’re a vegetarian, or just want to eat less animal protein. Today I’m going to share more health benefits of eating quinoa and one of my staple recipes, Toasted Quinoa with Vegetables so you can give your diet a healthy, exciting makeover.
What Does Quinoa Taste Like?
The taste of quinoa is slightly nutty with a delicate texture.
Where Does Quinoa Grow?
The Health Benefits of Eating Quinoa
1. Essential Amino Acids in Quinoa
Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. What's interesting is that a study showed that deficiency of essential amino acids can lead to nervousness, exhaustion, and dizziness. But thankfully even a moderate consumption of Quinoa can help avoid such symptoms.
2. Quinoa is Anti-Inflammatory
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3. Quinoa is Gluten Free
4. Quinoa is a SuperFood
The nutrient composition of Quinoa has earned the title of being called a “superfood.”
Nutritional evaluations indicate that quinoa is a source of complete protein. That is to say, it contains all 9 essential amino acids required in a human diet in correct proportions.
Other similar pseudo grains derived from seeds are similar in protein levels. For example, buckwheat is 18% protein compared to 14% for Quinoa; Amaranth, a related species to Quinoa, ranges from 12 to 17.5%.
5. Quinoa Is High In Protein
Quinoa is high in protein. In fact, it’s a complete protein meaning it supplies all 9 of the essential amino acids, which is important for immune system health. It's higher in protein than barley, brown rice, potatoes, and millet, but is less than oats and wild rice. And if you compare it to wheat, quinoa is higher monounsaturated fat (in the form of oleic acid) which is good for your heart.
6. Quinoa Is High In Fiber
Quinoa grain is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus. Additionally, it is high in iron and magnesium.
7. Vegan-Friendly and Good For Those Who Are Lactose Intolerant
How to Eat Quinoa
Toasted Quinoa With Roasted Vegetables
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. Here's a recipe with grilled vegetables that requires very little oil. The roasted garlic gives it an excellent flavor.
- 1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
- 6 medium sized broccoli florets
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tsp lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Use a fine strainer to rinse off the bitter skin of the quinoa seed.
- Add 1 Cup of water to 1/2 Cup of quinoa.
- Cover and turn heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain the cooked quinoa again through the strainer
5. Marinate broccoli florets for 30 minutes with olive oil and salt to make them tender.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F for 5 minutes
7. Place the broccoli florets on a baking tray.
8. Place the tray in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes
9. Place the rest of the veggies in the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes
10. Mix broccoli florets with quinoa with garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and salt/pepper.