Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a food native to the Andes, which was called the “mother grain” by the Incas. The only grain that is a complete protein, it definitely deserves the title of supergrain.
Quinoa contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients, making it one of the most complete foods in nature. Ounce for ounce it contains as much protein as meat, and in fact one cup of quinoa contains more calcium and protein than a quart of milk!
Quinoa makes an excellent addition to any kitchen, as it is simple and quick to cook, and can be used year round to create diverse and delicious meals. Quinoa has a more delicate, slightly woody flavour than other whole grains, and when cooked it produces a light, fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Quinoa can be cooked and consumed as a high protein breakfast food, used to make salads or used in soups, stews or pilafs.
Experiment and Try these Quinoa Recipes
Did you know?
- Whole grains include the complete grain: the bran, the germ and the endosperm.
- Canada’s new Food Guide recommends 6-8 servings of grain daily, with at least half of your daily consumption of grain products being whole grain.
- Whole wheat bread (made with whole wheat flour) may have some of the germ removed, meaning that 100% whole wheat bread may not necessarily be whole grain!
- According to a 2011 Canadian Food Industry Report, only about 10% of Canadians are consuming a healthy amount of whole grains daily.
- The 2011 Canadian Food Industry Report showed that on average men eat more whole grains than women (12% versus 6%), and that Ontarians eat the most whole grains (10%).
- Whole grains are digested more slowly than refined grains, resulting in lower blood sugar & insulin levels.
- Popular whole grain foods include: brown rice, oats, whole wheat flour, rye flour, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet and quinoa!
- While used in a similar way to grains like rice and couscous, quinoa is actually the fruit of a broadleaf plant related to the spinach family.