Although technically a seed, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is commonly referred to and used most often as a grain. Quinoa is considered to be one of the most nutritious foods one can eat. I buy my quinoa at Costco, but I'm sure you can find it in most stores now. Especially, Health Food stores.
One cup (cooked) quinoa contains eight grams of protein, nearly twice the amount found in other grains. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it provides the body all nine essential amino acids. In addition to being a good source of protein, quinoa also contains: iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, fiber, and many other great nutritional ingredients. Quinoa is also thought to be an antioxidant, to help protect the body of free radical damage.
I feel like the health benefits are outstanding, but I'm also a fan, just because I happen to like it. I have never loved rice, so I now substitute quinoa in any recipe where I would use rice. My kids also enjoy eating quinoa and that is a HUGE bonus! I have heard it is good in salads and soups, however, I still need to experiment with more recipes. If you're interested, I'll share more recipes as I find them.
Some friends and I went to Moad, Utah a couple of weeks ago where we went to the fabulous, tiny, healthy cafe called The Love Muffin. Yes, for reals that is the name, but I'm craving their food as I type! So yummy and so healthy! It is deserving of its name. We got the idea to eat quinoa like oatmeal from The Love Muffin. You just make quinoa following the package directions. Then add ingredients like you would to your oatmeal. For me that means: agave nectar (a yummy natural sweeter), cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, and almond milk, soy milk, or milk (which ever you prefer).
If you have good quinoa recipes, I would love to know what they are! Please share.