I love quinoa, but it was not so long ago that I did not even know what it was. Oh, sure, I had heard the word, and I knew it was a type of food, but that was where my knowledge ended. How much do you know about quinoa? Read on and learn all you ever wanted to know about this super food.
10 Things You Should Know About Quinoa
1. It's pronounced keen-wah. Then why is it spelled so strangely? Quinoa came to English from the language Quechua via Spanish. Quechua is mostly spoken by people living in the Andes in South America. The original word for "quinoa" is kínuwa "KEEN-u-wah." Over time, the u was omitted. That explains the pronunciation, but what about the spelling? The spelling comes from the Spanish translation from Quechua. The earliest Spanish spelling was quinua ("keen-OOH-ah"), but again, over time, the OOH was dropped.
For more information on the word quinoa, look here.
2. While most people think that quinoa is a grain, it is actually a seed. It contains many nutrients and is higher in fiber and protein than brown rice.
3. Quinoa is gluten free and is a safe and healthy alternative to wheat, barley, rye and other gluten containing grains.
4. Quinoa is good for people with diabetes because it is medium to low on the glycemic index, only 18, which means it won't cause a spike in blood sugar.
5. Quinoa has enough amino acids to be considered a complete protein. This makes it a great low cholesterol, low fat source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
6. Quinoa has a natural protective coating called saponins. If it is not washed off, it will make the quinoa taste bitter. The coating can be rinsed off by dumping the quinoa into a sieve and thoroughly rising it with water. You can buy pre-rinsed quinoa, but I would still advise that you rinse it before cooking.
7. Quinoa is good for people with heart and kidney disease because it is high in potassium and magnesium and low in sodium.
8. Quinoa is fast to make. A cup of quinoa will cook in about 20 minutes.
9. Quinoa is easy to make. You can cook it in water, or broth. A pinch of salt per cup, and other herbs and spices are also a great idea and will increase the flavor of your quinoa. You can also make quinoa in your rice cooker, using 2 cups of water to 1 cup quinoa.
10. Wondering how much to cook? Here are the numbers: 1 cup dry quinoa make 3 cups of cooked. For cooking, the ratio is 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa
How to Cook Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water or broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing, for 2 minutes.
- Place water or broth and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Add rinsed quinoa and stir.
- Lower heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
- Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. There will be tiny spirals (the germ) separating from the seeds and curling around them.
There are so many ways to prepare quinoa. You can add meat or vegetables, or you can put it in soup. You can even serve it cold in a salad!. If you haven't started eating quinoa already, now is a great time to start.
Have a great week!