Keen – what? Quinoa

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quinoa
Raw Organic Quinoa Seeds

So, what IS Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)? Quinoa is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America and has much to offer.

Technically quinoa is not a true grain for it is the seed of the Goosefoot plant. It is used as a grain and substituted for grains because of it’s cooking characteristics.

Whole grains such as barley, quinoa and amaranth are nutritional powerhouses when compared to the traditional refined grain and yeast products – which we eat too much of and this only hinders fat loss.

Because quinoa is a whole food, it has an abundance of beneficial antioxidants, phytochemicals, and essential nutrients. It also is a good source of vitamins and minerals. A ¾ cup serving of cooked quinoa provides 25% of the daily value for both iron and magnesium and 10% of the daily value for vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.

Quinoa is the only grain containing all essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein.

In fact, quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and is gluten free!

quinoa protein

Bonus Benefits

* Easy to Cook

Quinoa cooks up in just 15 minutes. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. Simple enough.

* Easy to Cook in Bulk

Easy to cook means easy to make a LOT of it to have on hand for meals all week. When my wife Jeannie cooks my quinoa (1 cup dry at 720 calories) comes out to be about servings SIX 1/2 cup servings. This would make it about 120 calories when I used 1/2 cup as a serving – which is plenty to use when creating a meal.

* Inexpensive

You can find a box of red quinoa at Whole Foods or even in the organic section of Krogers for about $4.00 (or less when on sale). This yields a total of twelve 1/2 cup servings. Once again, another example of how eating healthy does not cause you to go broke.

How To Use Quinoa

A great first step in adding quinoa into your fat loss plan is to use it as a replacement for rice/other grains in your favorite meals or make it fun and add it to vegetables.

Here’s a Fun Summer Salad Recipe using Quinoa

mango lime quinoa

Mango Lime Quinoa Salad

* 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
* 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
* 2 Tblsp pumpkin seeds
* 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

Dressing
* 2- 3 Tblsp olive oil
* juice of 1 lime or to taste
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
* Salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa. Peel the mango and cut into cubes. Peel and slice the cucumber thinly. Add cucumber to mango along with the almonds and pumpkin seeds. Mix lime juice, olive oil, fresh coriander, salt and pepper. Add the mango and cucumber to quinoa, pour the dressing over the salad, toss and enjoy!

Quinoa is quite versatile and a Must Have in Your Pantry!

It can be used hot or cold and it comes in a variety of colors, mainly white and red. I personally prefer RED for it has a nice nutty, taste – where the white to me tastes a bit too much like corn….plus it is not sticky like the white and has a nice little crunchy-ness to it.

Add quinoa to your meal plans and get creative with the different ways you can serve it up to make a tasty and satisfying meal.

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