Last night, I made quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) for the first time. It was delicious! I made it into a rice pilaf with red pepper and carrots, with a side of wild salmon and steamed broccoli.
So what exactly is quinoa? Well it looks like a grain, tastes like one, but in fact is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. I actually thought it tasted a little like cous cous.
So what are the health benefits? Well here are just a few:
1. It's great for those on a gluten-free diet because it's not made from wheat.
2. It's a good source of magnesium (which helps relax blood vessels)
3. Good for cardiovascular health
4. It's a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, two minerals that serve as cofactors for the superoxide dismutase enzyme (Superoxide dismutase, SOD, is an antioxidant that helps to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.)
These are only a few out of so many more. For a more detailed list of the health benefits of this amazing grain click here.
It's so easy to cook. You can even use your rice cooker. There are so many different recipes you can use to make it suit your taste buds, but don't miss out on all the health benefits this grain provides!