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Thursday 12 December 2013

Quinoa: The Power Grain

Sure, you know the benefits of whole grains but did you know there are grains other than whole wheat? Quinoa, (pronounced KEEN-wa), is the powerhouse of grains and has quickly risen in popularity due to its excellent nutrition profile, texture and ease of use.

Quinoa seeds are small, flat and rounded, similar to that of sesame seeds. It has a nutty taste with a soft, crunchy texture. Quinoa provides all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, and has approximately twice the protein as regular grains. Rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, fiber and calcium, this food is relatively high in unsaturated fat. Quinoa is technically not a grain but a fruit and is a great alternative to couscous or rice.

Use quinoa to make pilafs, risottos, stews, salads or even desserts. Quinoa can also serves as an excellent high-protein breakfast served hot, mixed with berries, nuts or cinnamon. Rinse well prior to cooking to remove its bitter waxy protective coating.

Here's an easy and tasty quinoa recipe you can bring to your next potluck, serve at your next holiday party or BBQ, or have as part of a tasty home cooked meal.

Quinoa with peppers and goat cheese

1 cup quinoa, dry
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
6 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup cherry vinaigrette

1. Rinse and scrub quinoa. Prepare according to package directions.
2. Place quinoa in a medium bowl. Add peppers, goat cheese, dressing and walnuts. Stir to coat evenly.
3. Enjoy warm or cold.

1/2 cup = 15 grams of carbohydrates

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