Thursday, October 1, 2009

What Is Quinoa?

A better question may be, What is one of the most complete (vegetable) proteins in the world? The answer is quinoa (pronounced: “keen-wah’).

Last year when I was researching my Super Foods video, I inadvertently forget a few foods that several people pointed out to me were quite super in their own right. And I agree that there are dozens of foods that are just as super or more super than the foods I lauded in my video: ARE YOUR FOODS SUPER? One of those omitted super foods is quinoa. What exactly is quinoa? Whenever I’m confronted with questions like this I tend to do two things: I put my researcher hat on and study up on the topic in question. And then I produce a video, like this one:

WHAT IS QUINOA?



Quinoa is often mistaken for a whole grain, but it is actually a seed from the goosefoot family. Today, it is mostly grown in South America, but it has been around for over 5,000 years. The Inca and Aztec civilizations were so fond of this super food they considered quinoa the “mother grain.” Why is quinoa so highly regarded? One word:

PROTEIN!

Actually, two words: COMPLETE PROTEIN!

Why is this important? Amino acids. Most of you meat-eaters get plenty of amino acids as you gnaw away on your protein-rich meats; that’s one of the major benefits one derives from animal protein consumption. It is also one of the main challenges for someone like myself, and hundreds of millions of others around the world, who has chosen a vegetarian lifestyle. Sure there are lots of wonderful vegetable protein choices, from nuts to beans to soy to whole grains, but few, if any, are considered complete, offering all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is especially rich in lysine, which is helpful for tissue growth and repair.

Okay, sounds great, right? But what does quinoa taste like? And how does one cook it?

Quinoa is delicious served on the side with veggies, or in salads or soups. It also is excellent added to cereals, and I use it to add complete vegetable protein to my Italian and Vegetable main dishes.

You didn’t answer my questions: How does it taste and how does one cook it?

A: Amazingly delicious. And:

HOW TO…COOK QUINOA



Why else should you add quinoa to your daily diet?

* excellent source of manganese (which helps with migraines)
* high in magnesium (good for cardiovascular health)
* fiber
* good source of iron & riboflavin
* low fat, low calorie food
* gluten free

Just because a food is considered super and good for you doesn’t mean it tastes good. I mean, I love broccoli and Brussels sprouts, but my wife tells me I’m stinking up the kitchen every time I prepare them. Quinoa is one of those special super foods that not only will help you live a healthier, happier, longer life, but will also add gastronomic pleasure along the way.

Until next time…

peace,

Mike

For the funny bone: QUINOA OUTTAKES

23 comments:

Anna said...

Love quinoa!

redkathy said...

Nice videos. Believe it or not I've never eaten quinoa. Looks easy enough to prepare, I'm going to try it. I would opt for the stove top method Mike. From what I have read, cooking veges in microwaves reduces the vitamins in veges. (not sure about other foods) True or not, that idea seems logical to me. Thanks for thee info. Have a great weekend.

ben4709 said...

i like so much!do ever stop creat new healthy foods,thanks.

kRiZ cPEc said...

Another good food I need to look for here then? Thanks for sharing

Mike Foster said...

anna: me too!

redkathy: it is simple to prepare and goes with just about anything...

ben: always looking for healthy foods to eat and share

kriz: hope you find some and like it...


peace,
mike
livelife365

Ann Martin Photography BLOG said...

Ok, I'm going to find this and try it!

Faisal Admar said...

never eat it. suppose it taste good? :D

My Autism Insights said...

Hi Mike! It's been a while. I love quinoa, but unfortunately, my kids don't quite agree. You're given me a great idea to try though - putting it in my veggie bolognese. I make one with minced mushrooms, black olives & black beans, and it has a thick somewhat meaty texture (for hubby) but I'm not crazy about the beans. Maybe the quinoa might be a decent substitute & would be buried enough in the other stuff for the kids not to notice. I'll let ya know next time I try it!

~Andrea
My Autism Insights

Ratty said...

I've never heard of quinoa before. Something that easy to make and that nutritional should be more widely known than it is. I'm definitely going to try it.

Mike Foster said...

ann: it is worth the effort...

faisal: give it a try...

andrea: i have a feeling it will go very well with you veggie bolognese...

ratty: fast, easy, and good for you...what's not to like?


peace,

mike

betchai said...

oh, I love quinoa. my colleague introduced it to me, and the first time I tasted it, I loved it! I then bought some for myself :)

Cascia said...

I've never heard of quinoa. Thank you for this valuable lesson! I'm going to have to try to find some of that now and try it. Have a wonderful day!

Robin Easton said...

Oh mike this is SO timely for me. I LOVE quinoa but have not had it for a month or two. I just got so busy I forgot about it.

Oddly I've been craving some protein and completely forgot that it was loaded with protein. I was just now before coming to your site trying to decide what I want for supper and then I saw this and the thought of quinoa sounds SO good right now. Soothing.

Again your videos are just so comfy, funny, wise, insightful, natural AND informative. It just makes me feel like I know you. LOL!! I showed them to a friend the other day and she said the same thing.

Thank you my friend.
Hugs,
Robin

suZen said...

Love quinoa - and Ratty is right - this should be a KNOWN thing to everybody! Thanks so much for as always, spreading the good word on nutritional choices! You're the BEST! I am really hoping there will be a wider audience for getting some basic knowledge of simple PURE good-for-you foods. We have some of the largest darn grocery stores on the planet and they are mostly filled with crap! I make myself walk the aisles just to increase my step count for the day - it's easy when you have a mostly empty cart - look out, the crazy lady is zooming down the aisles, haha!

heidi said...

Can you believe I have never had quinoa???? That is about to change now so thanks!!!!

Mike Foster said...

betchai: sounds like a similar story to my introduction to this tasty, healthy treat

cascia: hope you enjoy it...

robin: is there a nicer comment than having you say that my vids make you feel like you know me? Can't think of one...by the way, i feel the same about you and your site....

suzen: that's one of the things i'm trying to do with livelife365--spreading the good word about good things to as many people as possible...thanks for the kind words, suzen

heidi: i think you will love it!




peace,

mike

HealthyMom said...

I had never heard of quinoa but my freind who is infertile her doctor told her to eat it and she uses it in alot of recipes.
Healthy Lifestyle

John @ Family, Fitness and Finances said...

Hey Mike, I have never heard of quinoa either. Sounds interesting, will give it a try...

Robin said...

Thanks for this, Mike - I have thought about using quinoa for a long time but never got around to it - now I shall! That's interesting that it has complete protein - I didn't know that. Cheers - Robin

Mike Foster said...

healthy mom: hmmm, wonder if it's helping?

john: it's one of those super foods that a lot of people are unaware of...

robin: make yourself a bowl and let me know what you think...


peace,

mike

Ish said...

I wonder what is quinoa in our country? or do we have it? or where I can find some... maybe its imported...

Vegetation said...

Quinoa is awesome! I don't eat enough of it!! I love the red one (it tastes the same, but it's fun!). Lately I can only find white and black though.

Great videos as always!

Mike Foster said...

ish: ask around, i hope you find some...

vegetation: never seen the red one, will have to try some, sounds cool...


peace,

mike