Food for thought Friday: Quinoa-Have you jumped on the bandwagon?

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Quinoa. Many of you are probably thinking I won’t eat anything I can’t pronounce, so let’s start there. It is pronounced KEEN-wah; you should keep it in your vocabulary and in your pantry.

quinoa

Quinoa is considered a super food because it contains more protein than any other grain. It is not only high in protein, but the protein it supplies is a complete protein. This means that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is gluten free and considered a whole grain by most, but it is actually a seed. When cooked it is fluffy, creamy, and slightly crunchy. Quinoa is paired well with the fitness world. It is rich in the amino acid lysine, which is essential for the growth and repair of muscle. A cup of cooked quinoa contains 25 grams of carbohydrates and has a glycemic load of 13. Quinoas carb load is high quality, which makes it an effective energy source that won’t cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This helps you feel full longer. Quinoa is also rich in manganese (helping with migraines, depression and anxiety), calcium, and 1 serving meets 48% of daily magnesium needs!

Cooking quinoa couldn’t be easier–add one cup of quinoa and two cups of water or stock to a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. There are many delicious recipes out there for quinoa, and clever ideas for adding it into your diet.  Quinoa is also available now in the form of pasta. It is delicious! There is absolutely no taste difference between quinoa pasta and traditional pasta- I bet you can fool even the pickiest eater!

Try out my favorite way to eat quinoa…for breakfast!

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Cereal

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Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 Tbsp butter, divided

2 medium apples, chopped

1 1/2 cups cold water

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice

3 Tbsp packed brown sugar

1/4 cup fat-free skim milk

Directions:

Soak uncooked quinoa in a bowl of water for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat.  When skillet is hot, melt 1/2 the tablespoon of butter and add your chopped apples.  Cook about 5 to 10 minutes, until apples are soft and begin to caramelize, turning occasionally.  Set aside.

Rinse and drain quinoa.  Add to a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of cold water and bring to a bowl over medium-high heat, boil for one minute.  Reduce heat to low and cover pan tightly, allowing quinoa to simmer for 10 minutes.  When quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.  {Quinoa should have a little tail that appears on each grain when done}  Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, cinnamon, apple pie spice, brown sugar and milk, stirring to combine.  Fold in apples and enjoy!

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EARN YOUR BODY.

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