I love that my 84 year old Grandmother continues to grow in her understanding of nutrition and experiments with food. She called me this morning and asked if she could simply add quinoa (keen-wa) to her homemade vegetable soup in the same way that she would add rice or pasta and I said “yes!” Now for some of you, quinoa has been part of your diet for a long time, but for my fairly traditional – meat and potatoes Grandma – this is a recent addition and this question both surprised me and excited me. Way to go Grandma! I am a very proud granddaughter.
So, What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), is another new grain on the scene that, like amaranth, is native to Central America although it now an emerging crop grown in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and recently in Ontario. I am a little reluctant to simply refer to quinoa as a “grain,” however, because it is more closely related to beets and to green leafy vegetables like spinach and chard than it is to wheat, oats, barley, or rye. Perhaps we should call it a “vege-grain.” It can be cooked in a main or side dish, or in soups and puddings, or used as flour in baking.
How to Cook Quinoa
It is important to RINSE your quiona before cooking as it has a saponin (soaplike) coating. Quinoa is a quick-cooking whole grain (15-20 minutes).
Good News Nutrition Points
Quinoa is high in protein, iron, and calcium, with a mix of the B vitamins and other minerals and It is gluten-free, making it a wonderful option to keep people Joyfully Eating!
Let's Get Cooking
Like myself, my Grandma also does a lot of "creative" cooking, so recipes are not always followed. However, I found a wonderful recipe to share with you today from a fellow Whole Foods lover. May your week include much JoyFull Eating!
"Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale"
Information Source: "Staying Healthy with Nutrition" by Elson M.Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD
Jennifer Levitan, C.H.N.C. is a Northern Ontario based Holistic Nutritional Consultant specializing in a simplified approach to healthy eating. With a focus on delicious, whole, local and sustainable foods, Jennifer empowers her clients to make practical nutrition choices for optimal health and a life of JoyFull Eating!