Quinoa

Quinoa must be doing something right! The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations named 2013 "The International Year of Quinoa." The diverse quality of nutrients in quinoa is amazing. Being a grain, yet having a massive amount of protein makes it popular with the vegetarian peeps. The antioxidant phytonutrients have been seen to be equal or higher than some berries! This makes quinoa a competitor with berries for anti-inflammatory qualities. This seriously is the only grain you could ever eat again and be satisfied, especially when it can be easier to digest. Also, with it's calcium and healthy fat content that helps with inflammation as well, quinoa is a no-brainer. If you don't know inflammation is the core root of any disease! So get some quinoa on that plate!

Quintessential Quinoa

How to Choose and Keep
You can find quinoa pre-packed or in bulk bins. The freshest is the best, but make sure if you get in bulk bins the bins are clean, have good turnover, are tightly sealed, and no moisture! The off-white kind of quinoa is the most available. I also like the pre-packed bags that look fresh. Store in an airtight container. You can keep it for about 3-6 months in the fridge. (If you store raw grains and nuts in the fridge it extends their shelf life).

Preparation
The best way to cook quinoa is to boil. Make sure you rinse before you cook to remove any debris and the naturally occurring bitter coating. Place in a wire strainer and rinse. Boil 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Once at a boil cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Nutrients
Manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

Action Steps
1. Go buy some some quinoa. Use in place of your starch or grain in a meal.
2. Try this delicious recipe from my nutrition school IIN:

Quinoa Instant Breakfast
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4
Ingredients:
            3 cups water                                                             1/4 cup raisins
            1 cup quinoa                                                            1/4 cup almonds
            1/4 cup diced squash                                                1/4 cup sesame seeds
            1/4 cup thinly sliced carrot rounds                        1/4 cup soy or nut milk
           
Directions:
·       Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear.
·       Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
·       Add quinoa to boiling water.
·       Reduce heat to a light boil and simmer 20 minutes.
·       Halfway through cooking, add squash, carrots, raisins, almonds, sesame seeds.
·       Remove from heat and add soy or nut milk.
 
(Resources: whfoods.com, integrativenutrition.com)