Also known as goosefoot, quinua and Inca wheat.
Quinoa is flat, oval-shaped and ranges in color from pale yellow, red or black. Quinoa has a wonderful crunchy texture and nutty flavor and is an ancient pseudo-grain, grown in the Andes Mountains by the Inca Indians. Quinoa is actually a seed from a herbaceous plant.
- It is gluten free and is a great alternative to wheat or corn.
- It has high nutritional value; better than most true grains.
- It has more protein than true grains.
- and has a balance of all our essential amino acids,
- including amino acid lysine that is usually found in insignificant amounts in most grains.
Therefore Quinoa is considered a complete protein. The starch in quinoa is easily digested and assimilated. The seed can be ground and made into a flour for bread.
When preparing quinoa, place in a fine mesh strainer, rinse under cold water while rubbing the seeds through your hands. This process is necessary because there are saponins on the outer part of the seeds. Saponins taste like bitter soap. But it can be washed off and behind the saponins is a wonderful, tasty grain. You can purchase some that have already been rinsed; look for it on the label!
Quinoa, like other whole plant foods, contains fiber. Fiber helps control hunger and suppress appetite; a wonderful benefit for those wanting to improve their weight management. The fiber in quinoa is mostly insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber has been shown to be beneficial for weight control, improved gut health and blood sugar control according to the British Nutrition Foundation published in the Nutrition Bulletin January 5, 2017. Insoluble fibers found in quinoa contain resistant starch that ferments in the large intestines and produce short fatty acid chains that act as an energy source for colonic cells and help prevent the development of abnormal cells in the gut. This process is very beneficial for those with diabetes by aiding in blood glucose control.