Sunday, July 18, 2010

The nutritional value of quinoa

Quinoa is one of my new favorite foods since I discovered I was gluten and dairy intolerant.You can buy it at Costco in a bag like the one above, they also sell it at Fred Meyer in the bulk bins as organic or at Winco non-organic. It is very versatile and can be used in recipes in place of rice, barley and couscous. According to all my sources it is basically a hypoallergenic food. Quinoa is a seed (although eaten as a grain) related to the spinach and beet family. It has been cultivated in the Andean mountain ranges of Peru, Chile and Bolivia for thousands of years. The Incas referred to it as the "mother seed". Quinoa began to be cultivated in the states in larger quantities in the mid 1980's in Colorado.

Quinoa is seen by many as a superfood. it has 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Nutritionally speaking 1 cup of cooked quinoa will give you 11 grams of protein. It is also a really good source of calcium (supposedly more than milk), manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins B&E, lignans and tryptophan. Its fiber and protein make it a low glycemic food meaning steady blood sugars for hours after eating it. When you eat about 1/2 a cup you will recieve 2 grams of Omega fatty acids.
"Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. When sprouted it is truly a superfood."
Quinoa when cooked is light and fluffy with a slight nutty flavor. It is very easy to cook, just like rice. Just put one part quinoa and two parts water in a saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes.

Quick recipe ideas:
  • Mix a quick salad with bell pepper, red onion, black beans, black pepper, lemon juice and olive oil, mix together with quinoa
  • Sautee garlic, onions and spinach with coconut oil to top your quinoa with
  • replace rice, barley and couscous with quinoa in your recipes
  • eat quinoa for breakfast with coconut milk, nuts and dried fruit
Tomorrow I will be posting directions for a quinoa salad and quinoa pudding. They are both vegan, vegetarian and gluten free!



  1. I am going to cook some this weeks sounds really good for diabetics. Thanks Jessica

  2. great detail- I did not know it was a source of calcium- loved the photos- and the recipe sounds yummy! love debk

  3. Thanks for your comments deb!

  4. I looked at Costco and didn't see it. What aisle did you find it on? (Or what else was nearby?)

  5. I got it at the Costco in Everett it was on the same aisle as the rice. I was there a week ago and they still had it.

  6. Thanks! I found it. I thought I had checked there but I think having seen your picture of it made all the difference. I knew exactly what I was looking for.



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