Quinoa may be one of our world’s best foods. It’s super nutrient-dense and grows into beautiful, large seed heads even in poor soil and drought conditions. A crop planted with a half-pound of quinoa seed can turn into 1,200 to 2,000 pounds of new quinoa.
There are many kinds and colors of quinoa, and each tastes a bit different. The white and light-colored quinoas are more mild, while the darker ones have a more robust and slightly nutty flavor. We think they’re all good – it really depends on what you’re eating with it.
Interesting Fact: Quinoa is actually related to beets, spinach, and kale, and you can eat the leaves of the quinoa plant.
The Whole Grain Council designates March as Quinoa Month because this is the month the harvest traditionally begins in the Andes.
Although quinoa is considered an ancient grain, it’s relatively new to many of us. How nutrient dense is it? It’s a plant source of complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids, it’s gluten-free, and 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, is rich in manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc, iron, and thiamine (B1). That’s a lot of excellent nutrition!
Unlike other grains, it cooks really quickly. After a quick rinse, it cooks in about 10-15 minutes.
Quinoa is extremely versatile. It works as a side dish, or in soups and salads, or in place of pasta. You can even pop it! It can also be breakfast if you cook it in water, milk, or your favorite tea and top it with dried or fresh fruit, cinnamon and/or nuts. We hope you make it a regular part of your meals!