what is quinoa?

Quinoa is one of the healthiest foods women over 50 can eat. Pronounced KEEN-wah, this amazing super grain has only gained recognition in the last few years.

It has grown in the Andes Mountains of South America for thousands of years and was a staple of the ancient Incas. They considered it a sacred grain and used it in various religious ceremonies. When the Spanish conquered South America in the 16th century, they ordered its destruction in an effort to eradicate what they considered a pagan uncivilized culture. The Indians continued growing it in secret, and it gained a reputation as a food of the poor.

Only in recent years has its outstanding nutritional value been recognized and today global wide demand for it is skyrocketing.

Belonging to the Goosefoot family of plants, it is closely related to beets, chard, and spinach. The grains are small, round, slightly flattened, about the size of sesame seeds. It is used as a grain in cooking but it is actually a seed. Although it comes in a variety of colors, the most commonly available is light beige.

This super grain is renowned for its nutritional value . It is one of the best plant sources for protein, is rich in essential nutrients and is gluten-free.

Easy to cook , it is made much like rice, but cooks more quickly than whole grain rice. When done, it has a delicate, fluffy texture, with a mild nutty flavor. The grains appear translucent, with what appears to be a small white sprout or tail.

ts flavor and texture make it very versatile. It goes well with meats, fish, vegetables, and other grains. It can even be used for making delicious desserts. Try these great quinoa recipes-->> .

Another healthy option, quinoa flour, is made from its whole grains. It can be bought at health food stores or you can ground your own in a food processor or blender. 3/4 cup whole grain equals one cup of flour. Substitute it for up to 20 percent of the wheat flour in existing recipes. The results are lighter and more delicate. You should note that because it is gluten free, it will not rise and if you use more than 20%, you will have to make adjustments in the recipe.

Quinoa pasta is available at health food stores. It has advantageous over regular pasta, offering a high percentage of protein and other nutrients. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

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