Quinoa is a plant originally from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile. It was used by the pre-Columbian civilizations and was replaced by cereals on the arrival of the Spanish.
Quinoa is a complete protein
It contains all nine essential amino acids, and it is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It also contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains which reduces high blood pressure and diabetes, and so prevent heart disease. One cup contains 8 grams of protein, 5 grams fiber, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fat. Luckily for the celiacs, this cereal grain does not contain gluten and it is a great alternative to wheat, rye, barley, and so on.
Quinoa is offered in different forms
The three most popular types are white, red and black. White is the most used and the one people usually refers when talk about quinoa. The red one is known by holding its shape a little better than the white one, that is why it is more used for cold salads. Black quinoa contains more sweetness than the white one. We can also find quinoa flakes and flour out there in the market. The flour looks pretty much the same as all flours so you need to guide yourself by the name product.
This rice-like grain has a chewy texture with a nutty, vegetable flavor and some bitter taste. Quinoa is usually tossed into a smoothie. It is also used instead of oatmeal because the grains are so small that they cook faster. With these grains you can make your own energy bars, add them to your salad, burrito, pudding, meat, and so many other options.
There are many recipes that use quinoa as the main ingredient such as Mediterranean Salad, Lemony Salad, Vegetable Salad, etc. The first one, for example, is really healthy and nutritious. It also contains garlic, chicken breasts, red onion, olives, feta cheese, chives, olive oil, and salt. Moist heat is used for this recipe and the dish can be ready in around 35 minutes.