Why Quinoa is a Superstar Superfood

Healthy salad with spinach,quinoa and roasted vegetables

 What is quinoa anyway?  Is it a grain?  Is it pasta?

Nope.  It’s a...SEED!

Pronounced KEEN-wah, this super fantastic superfood is a big star right now.  And for very good reasons.

Originally from the South American Andes, this little powerhouse was virtually unknown in the U.S. a few years ago.

Amazingly enough, it is a relative of beets, spinach, and Swiss chard.  Who knew?

It’s seeds resemble whole grain and are prepared in much the same way.  They do need to be rinsed before cooking and can even be soaked for about 20 minutes to “sprout.”  Which means activating the live enzymes making them more easily digestible.

(By the way, sprouting any dry nuts/seeds/legumes makes them more easily digestible.)

Available in light brown, red and black, it is light but filling with a slightly mellow nutty flavor.

Here are 4 reasons why quinoa is a nutritious and efficient staple in the kitchen:

  1.  It is high in magnesium:  magnesium helps relax blood vessels, which may result in fewer headaches, migraines and decreased risk of hypertension and stroke.
  2. Good source of manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other minerals
  3. This one is my FAVORITE!!  An excellent plant-based protein source.  The highest protein content of any grain (even though it’s technically a seed.)  It’s really high in lysine...an amino acid that is typically low in other grains.  Quinoa’s protein contains ALL NINE amino acids, making it a complete protein - rare in the plant kingdom.  Go quinoa!
  4. It is gluten-free and easy to digest!

It is definitely becoming more mainstream and can easily be found in most grocery stores.  So get creative and make this super-power seed a part of your healthy diet!

Here is a sample recipe from the Detox - which starts September 9th!

Summer Quinoa

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups quinoa, rinsed and soaked for 20 minutes

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 bunch Swiss chard, cut into ribbons

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 shallots, chopped

1 15oz. can organic garbanzo beans

1 zucchini, grated

1 yellow squash, grated

1 carrot, grated

large bunch basil, cut into ribbons

1/2 cup almond slivers

zest and juice of one lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a pot, combine quinoa, vegetable broth, garlic and shallots.  Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Easy and delicious!