Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") - Staple Food in South America and Legacy of the Incas

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Quinoa is a ancient South American grain that has made a huge comeback in recent years. One major reason is that it is a fast cooking fabulous grain that contains all of the essential amino acids.

Cooked quinoa is excellent in hot casseroles and soups, stews, in stir-fries, or cold in salads. The seeds cook very quickly. Ready in only 15 minutes, this grain is easily prepared and a great addition to your menu. We have loaded this site with so many of our favorite quinoa recipes for you to explore.

Uncooked it may be added to soups and stews as you would barley or rice as this grain is often substituted for rice in salads and casseroles. Dry roasting in a pan or in the oven before cooking will give a toasted flavor. It can be cooked in fruit juice to add character to the flavor for use as a breakfast cereal or in desserts. Cold salads consisting of quinoa and chopped vegetables or cooked beans make a quick, easy, and nutritious dish.

As flour, this grain is used in making pasta and a variety of baked goods such as pancakes, bread, muffins, and crackers.

Another way of using this grain is to "pop" the seeds in a dry skillet and eat them as a dry or parched cereal. You can even sprout the seeds so that they can be eaten raw as a live food for snacks or in salads and sandwiches. The seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a great source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids we humans need. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine, the amino acids which are typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes.

The protein in quinoa is a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids providing 12% to 18% protein per serving. 1/2-cup will provide a child’s protein needs for one day. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Don't forget to email Your Vegetarian Kitchen.com with your favorite Quinoa recipes that you think we should add to our website.

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