Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah, not kwin-OH-a.) is in fact not technically a cereal grain at all, but is instead what we call a “pseudo-cereal” – our name for foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient proﬁle.
Quinoa has come a long way in the last few years — all the way from the back shelves of health food stores to national supermarket aisles. Its high protein content, sweet and nutty flavor, and delicate texture have made quinoa a popular substitute for starchier pasta and rice.
- Unlike nearly every other plant, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all the building blocks needed to build and repair muscle.
- The concentration of two antioxidants in quinoa can sometimes be greater than their concentration of high-flavonoid berries.
- Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains an adequate amount of iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber.
Best Ways to Use
- Combine cooked chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions and coriander. Season to taste and enjoy this south-of-the-border inspired salad.
- Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as breakfast porridge.
- For a twist on your favorite pasta recipe, use noodles made from quinoa.
- Sprouted quinoa can be used in salads and sandwiches just like alfalfa sprouts.
- Add quinoa to your favorite vegetable soups.
- Ground quinoa flour can be added to cookie or muffin recipes.
- Quinoa is great to use in tabouli, serving as a delicious (and wheat-free) substitute for the bulgur wheat with which this Middle Eastern dish is usually made.