Description & Health Benefits

  • Quinoa (keen-wah) is a member of the Amaranthaceae family which also includes amaranth, beets, chard, lamb’s quarter, kaniwa, spinach, and sugar beet.
  • Quinoa, as well as amaranth and buckwheat, is a seed, commonly known as a “pseudocereal.” These seeds have similar nutrient profiles and uses as “true” cereal grains, but are not part of the same botanical family.
  • Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free whole grain and an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and folate, as well a good source of protein and potassium.
    • Magnesium regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar and blood pressure control.
    • Phosphorus assists in the formation of bones and teeth.
    • Manganese plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and calcium absorption.
    • Folate is needed to make DNA and protects against the risk of neural tube defects.
    • Potassium contributes to proper function of all cells while protein is important for growth and development.

Selecting, Storing & Preparing

  • Small and light colored, quinoa is also available in red, purple and black.
  • Quinoa contains a bitter residue called saponins, which is the plant’s defense mechanism to ward off insects. Most varieties need to be rinsed prior to preparing to remove this substance.
  • Purchase quinoa prepackaged or in the bulk section of the grocery store.
  • To prepare:
    • Use a 1:2 ratio, 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid, rinse quinoa using a fine sieved colander.
    • Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan.
    • Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook 12-15 minutes.

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

½ cup cooked
Calories: 111 | Protein: 4.07g | Fat: 1.78g | Carbohydrate: 19.70g | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugars: 0.80g | Calcium: 16mg | Magnesium: 59mg | Potassium: 159mg | Vitamin C: 0.0mg | Folate: 39μg | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin K: 0.0μg

Quinoa Recipes

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