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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great Flavors with Quinoa!

By :Eliza Chute, blog contributor

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is what we might call a “super-grain”. It has a lot of additional benefits as opposed to rice or other grains. “Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.” According to the same article on those benefits include:

“Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of the vital nutrient.
Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.”

So we get it Quinoa is great for you, but like a lot of things that are good for you we are tempted to think that it tastes bad. Fortunately, it is quite delicious and there are a variety of different things you can do with it. The first and most important step in using quinoa is soaking it in water for about 8 hours. This will remove the phytic acid and makes it easier to digest (bodyecology), then there is a bunch of great things you can do with it.

Looking inside my kitchen pantry I decided to make a quinoa salad with celery and dried cranberries. And then it dawned on me that this is really a versatile grain so you can make a great dish with it by adding in almost anything else you might like to add. You can make a large quantity of it and keep it in your fridge for quite a while and not have to make another batch. In addition quinoa itself makes a great addition to soups or salads (great source of protein for vegetarians). Also, quinoa van be used like rice and you can follow any sort of risotto recipe to make risotto with a 'twist'.

Information on Quinoa found at:

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