Cook Quinoa and Be On Your Way to Better Health

Why cook Quinoa? What really is Quinoa? What benefits can I get when I cook Quinoa grains? Is this really a super food? You may have a lot of questions on what Quinoa is, and what nutrients your body may get if you cook Quinoa. If you have these inquiries in mind, I have not just one, but two good reasons for you to cook Quinoa.

1. Cook Quinoa because it provides you protein, calcium, good carbs, Vitamin E, fiber, and a lot more nutrients that will help you reduce that weight, build up those muscles and live a healthy lifestyle.

For many years, Quinoa grains have been used by Incas of South America as their complete source of nutrition. Mothers has been using this super food to feed their infants and warriors were eating them to serve as daily supply of energy and to aid in fast healing of their wounds. Even up to now, Quinoa grains are being served as a complete meal.

Quinoa diet contains non-meat protein - which comes from a family of albumin and globulin - meaning it has a balanced composition of the essential amino acids, helping in the growth and development, as well as repair of damaged tissues. Aside from that, Quinoa is also rich in minerals. One of them is calcium which we all know, makes our bones strong and healthy, even as we age.

This super food has high energy content due to its carbohydrates content. The good news is these are good carbs, which means they are slow-releasing, making your craving for food (especially junk foods) and hunger spams low. It is also good for diabetics since carbohydrates are known to correct the levels of sugar in our blood. For that great and young-looking skin, Quinoa super food also brings you Vitamin E. This nutrient is an anti-oxidant; it liberates you from free radicals, and lowers your risk of developing cancer.

Finally, but definitely not the least and not the last from the list of nutrients, is fiber. Although Quinoa is not really a grain, but a chenopod (leafy plant like spinach, whose leaves are also edible; Quinoa grains are taken from the botanical seed-like fruit of the Quinoa plant) it is very high in insoluble fiber. It will help you digest food better as the nutrient increases bowel movement, assisting you to burn those fats easier and faster. Another good to know about insoluble fiber is that it is friendly to pre-menopausal women who are very prone to breast cancer. And because the fiber from Quinoa is insoluble in nature, it prevents gallstones.

2. Cook Quinoa because it is easy to prepare, it is a very good substitute for rice, bread or cereals, and even meat, and brings a different taste to your diners.

Quinoa is very easy to cook as it is prepared just the way you will with rice. For every cup of Quinoa grains, you need to add two cups of water. Then you need to bring this combination to a boil. This measurement makes 3 cups. Below is a more comprehensive set of instructions on how to cook Quinoa:

The Basic Quinoa Recipe

2 cups water 1 cup quinoa

1. Place quinoa and water in a 1-½ quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). 2. You will know that the quinoa is done when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated; makes 3 cups.

Notes: 1. To prepare in a rice cooker, simply treat quinoa like rice. Add two parts water to one part quinoa, stir, cover (unlike rice you can stir quinoa a few times while cooking to prevent burning in the bottom of the pan) and when the cooker shuts off, the quinoa is done. 2. It is important that before you cook Quinoa, you wash and drain the grains to remove the bitter taste that coats it.

Quinoa has a nutty flavor, and is both chewy and crunchy at the same time. Quinoa can be used in replacement of any grain, in soups or in pilafs. At present, quinoa is also made into pasta, bread and other baked goods. In place of croutons, add quinoa to your salad for that extra bite. When added to soups, stews or casseroles, they make them more satisfying and bring more nutrition. Or instead of rice, use quinoa as the grain in your meal. Make a quinoa stir-fry with vegetables and beans for a fiber-packed, protein-filled dish.

Tina Abbotts is a fitness and wellness expert. She provides you 2 of the many reasons you should cook quinoa in her site,

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