10 things you didn’t know about quinoa - but should

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No, it’s not the new super food on the block, but that doesn’t mean quinoa has faded from the limelight. This superfood is here to stay and if you’re still not well acquainted, it’s time to embrace and taste the healthy trend turned staple.

Not sure where to begin? Here are the basics:

  • It’s pronounced keen-wa.
  • That little tail? Don’t worry, it’s just the germ and it’s normal for it to pop out of the quinoa when cooked
  • Which is best - red, white, or black? Nutritionally, they’re comparable, so opt for what tastes best to you
  • Red and black quinoa are a little chewier than white, which is why those are the ones often used in salads and cold dishes
  • White quinoa tends to taste the less bitter than black and red
  • Quinoa typically cooks in 15-20 minutes, quicker than many whole grains
  • Eating quinoa doesn’t cause a dramatic spike in insulin production (which may be because it is technically a pseudocereal related to spinach and amaranth) - a perk if you have diabetes

Quinoa is tasty - a little nutty, but pretty mild - filling, easy, and a nutrition power house, so we’re not surprised it has secured a seat in the superfood hall of fame. Quinoa has a lot to offer on the nutrition front. It:   

  • Is loaded with antioxidants, which essentially fight potential damage in the body
  • Harbors a ton of vitamins and minerals; bring on the vitamin c, magnesium, iron, and even omega 3 fatty acids
  • Is one of of the few vegetarian complete proteins that provides all nine essential amino acids
  • Is full of fiber; half a cup has almost 3 grams

Don’t run the next time you see quinoa on a menu. If you don’t want to wait that long for a taste, it’s simple to make at home. Take a page from my book where there’s frequently a cooked batch in the fridge (I do white, and it will last through the work week) to make satisfying salads or impromptu breakfast bowls.

this post initially appeared on Grateful Plate