What is quinoa? How do you pronounce it? Better yet, how do you cook it and what is it good for? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered on all things quinoa. Here are the top 10 things you should know about one of our favorite health foods.
1. It is pronounced keen-wah.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve been saying it incorrectly all this time. We’ve all done it.
2. Quinoa is a grain-like seed.
While quinoa may appear to be a grain and even taste like one, it is actually a seed. It comes from a plant in the Amaranth family that traces back to ancient Peru and Bolivia.
3. It is considered a superfood.
Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants – quinoa is a powerhouse of nutrition.
4. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free!
It makes an excellent replacement for common grains and an excellent addition to a gluten-free diet. Bonus: Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most grains.
5. It is a complete source of protein.
Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a great protein source for vegetarians and vegans.
6. That weird little string coming out of quinoa is normal.
When quinoa is cooked, the “germ” comes out of each seed. It looks like a string and it is nothing to be afraid of. The germ is the embryo of the seed.
7. Quinoa is a rich source of iron.
Iron keeps our red blood cells healthy and carries oxygen from cell to cell while supplying oxygen to our muscles. If you’ve ever been told you’re anemic, quinoa is a great way to get your iron.
8. It has a low glycemic index.
Quinoa won’t make your blood sugar spike and crash like some other grains.
9. Quinoa is a source of healthy fats.
It contains both oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat, as well as alpha-linoleic acid, the type of omega-3s found in plants.
10. It is quick and easy to make.
There are various ways to prepare quinoa, but the simplest way is to add 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer until quinoa has absorbed all of the water and becomes fluffy (about 15 minutes). Ta-da!