This week's Teaching Tuesday is about a certain pseudo-cereal with a very unique spelling: quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah").
Sure, the seed may be small, but there's actually a lot you may not know about it!
As I mentioned above, quinoa isn't a grain! It's actually classified as a "pseudo-cereal" because we eat it like other cereal grasses (i.e. oats and barley). It's also gluten-free!
Quinoa belongs to the same family as spinach and beets.
Quinoa has a nutty taste, cooks fast (making it a perfect alternative to brown rice when you’re in a hurry) and it’s a complete protein, meaning it has all those important amino acids. (It’s also a good source of calcium, iron and magnesium -- what a superhero!)
This is what a quinoa plant actually looks like:
The part you eat is actually the seed. And the "tail"? That's the germ of the seed!
Quinoa is available in different colors/varieties:
- White: the most common quinoa available in stores.
- Red: there's no real taste difference between red and white quinoa. Some say red is able to hold its shape and works better in cold salads.
- Black: has an earthier taste than white quinoa. It also keeps its black color when cooked.
You should rinse your quinoa before cooking it. The seeds are covered with a natural bitter coating of saponins, which dissolves after being rinsed. Some brands of quinoa will say pre-rinsed on the package, but don't assume it's already been done.
Now that you know the basics, here are some ideas on how to incorporate quinoa into your life:
From the blog:
- Mexican Chorizo
- Veggie, Bean & Quinoa Croquettes
- Cherry Quinoa Salad
- Ginger-Miso Quinoa Stir-Fry
- Kidney Quinoa Burgers
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Curry Cakes
- Quinoa Taco Meat
We also feature quinoa dishes frequently on the meal plans!
What's your favorite way to eat quinoa?