Quinoa:Nutritional Powerhouse

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah is a tiny grain that packs a nutritional punch with a taste that is similar to cream of wheat, but with a hint of nuttiness!

It is in the same family as beets and spinach, grown mainly in Peru and Bolivia. This delicious grain can be found at any natural food market and some traditional grocery stores.  And still…there are many people who have not had the pleasure of eating this delicious grain, or even heard of it! LEARN ABOUT IT TODAY!

Quinoa is very unique because it is high in protein compared to most other grains, and contains all nine of the essential amino acids required by humans (complete protein). Quinoa is a great pick for Vegans or Vegetarians because it will help fulfill protein needs. It is great for even a general diet because a typical serving of 3/4 cup cooked quinoa packs four grams of healthful fiber and more than two milligrams of iron. It also contains magnesium, folate and vitamin B-6. Another plus is that it doesn’t contain the artery clogging (contributing to heart disease which is the number one killer) saturated fat and trans fat and has zero milligrams of cholesterol.

Note, many varieties have a natural coating of bitter defensive compounds called saponins; but are easily removed by rinsing the quinoa under cool running water in a fine strainer. For convenience, most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed.

Quinoa can be cooked in water like rice, by simmering for 15 to 20 minutes until the extra water is absorbed and the curly germ separates from the seed. Quinoa can be added to soups and stews, and ground into flour for use in bread products. It doesn’t contain the “sometimes troublesome gluten proteins”, so it’s an allowed grain for people who need to avoid gluten due to gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. Try making a black bean and quinoa salad or patties (can put on a whole wheat bun or make lettuce wrapped).

Black Bean and Quinoa Patty Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash salt and pepper

Directions: Mash beans coarsely. Mix in salsa. Add quinoa and stir. Add egg white and season to taste. Make into patties. Dry cook in nonstick pan.

Nutrition Facts: 221 calories; 2.1 g fat (0.2 g sat, 0 g trans); 0 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 0.9 g sugar; 11.3 g protein; 6.6 g fiber; 40 mg sodium.

You can also purchase quinoa from Bob’s Red Mill, through Amazon online. Please see the link directly below.
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa, 26-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)

To learn more about healthy recipes and meal planning that is specific to your diet needs, schedule an appointment with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Nutrition For Body And Mind.