Quinoa, the All-In-One Grain
When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I had no idea how much that would change my life. Gluten seemed to be in everything, and I had no idea what to eat. It sure made life tricky. However, as I was experimenting with new, and sometimes odd, grains to replace wheat in my diet, I tried out Quinoa. What a pleasant surprise! It tasted good! And it was very versatile. My family, who didn't need a different diet, liked it. I found that adding Quinoa to our diet added a new and healthier variety to our diet that I really liked.
So, if you are looking for a healthy way to add a new breakfast food, a way to spice up your salad, or something to replace that plain white rice on your plate, give Quinoa a try. Or if you have to go on a gluten-free diet and you simply need to find something that you can eat, then Quinoa is a good choice.
Quinoa in the days of the Incas was considered the "mother of all grains" because of how many awesome benefits it has. Some of the cool things known about Quinoa are:
· High in vital nutrients and antioxidants, such as Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Potassium
· Really high in fiber (and tastier than the alternatives :0)
· Gluten-free, which means it soothes the digestive system
· Excellent source of plant-based protein, as in 8 grams per serving. Take that steak!
· Has a low Glycemic index for a grain, which is great for those looking for a lower sugar impact
And best of all, it is great at absorbing the flavor of the foods it pairs with, making it a great addition to any type of meal. I love that about Quinoa. Most of the time when you substitute a different grain in a recipe, you taste the difference. With Quinoa, the texture may be a bit different, but it doesn't change the flavor of the recipe and you can get all the awesome benefits.
So, how do you prepare Quinoa?
Step one: Rinse in water one cup of quinoa in a strainer, so you don't get a bitter taste after it is cooked.
Step two: Put your Quinoa in a medium-sized pot with two cups of water. Bring to a boil.
Step three: Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the Quinoa is light and fluffy-like.
Step four: Enjoy!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy Quinoa is as a replacement for oatmeal in the morning. Simply take a bowl of Quinoa, a spoonful of your favorite sweetener (I like to use honey), and some cut-up fruit and you are ready to go. If you like milk-flavor in your breakfast food, you can add coconut milk or almond milk to it and eat it like a cold cereal.
There are a lot of recipes out there that use quinoa, so don't be shy and go find one that suits you and gain all the healthy benefits of eating Quinoa. Or, if you have a cool Quinoa recipe already, feel free to share it in the comments section below!
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