Red Quinoa

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Red QuinoaRed QuinoaQuinia Plant (Left) - Cooked Red Quinoa (Right)

Quinoa pronunciation is keen-wah. It is an ancient, nutritious food that has been cultivated for more than 5000 years. It comes in various colors, from to black.

Red quinoa is one variation of the quinoa family. Besides the color, no evidence showed that its nutritional values are different from its sisters.

Quinoa is a whole grain that has been classified by the National Academy of Science as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.

For example, lysine, an essential amino acid that is deficient in many grain crops, is found in quinoa approaching the nutrition standards set for human by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

With the richness in protein (12-18%), ease of use, versatility in preparation, and potential for greatly increased yields in controlled environments, quinoa is being considered/used as a new crop for NASA astronauts.

Though often thought of as a grain, quinoa is really a tiny seed related to a family of greens, like spinach, beets and chard, but has unusual qualities. It is lower in carbohydrates than other grains, and contains all the amino acids to make a complete protein.

It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, copper and phosphorous. The fiber, antioxidants, and valuable phytonutrients it contains make it more welcome on the dining table.

Here are some of the facts concerning quinoa:

  • It originated in South America.
  • The Incas grew it at 12,000 feet above sea level.
  • It was called "the mother grain" by the Incas.
  • It was thought as a sacred food around which the Incas performed reverent rituals.
  • It is called "Golden Grain" in one of its Chinese names.

I like to add quinoa to my cooking because it is as simple to prepare as rice. I use it in various ways to enjoy its health benefits. It is very easily blended in rice, soups, salads and stews.

 

Related Readings

 Quinoa Recipes
Quinoa Recipes: Some simple ways to enjoy this wonderful grain.
Quinoa Nutrition
Quinoa Nutrition: Why is quinoa a great addition to your table?
Essential Amino Acids: Quinoa is full of these important nutrients that are essential to our health.

 

 

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