While giving a look around the internet for some healthy starch choices, I happened upon the website for the Whole Grains Council. Man, there’s a council for everything. Anyway. The folks over at WGC have come up with the “grain of the month” and for March it’s quinoa. Clap clap clap. Congratulations to the mother of all grains! (That’s what the ancient Incas called it.)
I also learned that 1/2 a pound of quinoa seeds is enough to plant a whole acre which can yield 1200-2000 pounds of new seed. The United Nations calls it the super-crop because it’s drought resistant and can grow in poor soils. AND the seeds have a bitter flavor coating which acts as a natural pesticide. Nice!
Nutrition wise, it’s my grain of choice. High in potassium, fiber and gluten-free, it can be served as a side, an addition to soups, stews and salads, and its flour can be used to make many a baked good!
Not sold yet? Studies have suggested that quinoa is useful in preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes. Most likely because it serves as a healthy alternative to starches with a high glycemic index. But also because it has high levels of quercetin, an anti-oxidant that also acts as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-histamine. Studies are examining quercetin’s ability to prevent cancer.
To learn more about this “mother grain” visit the Grain of the Month page on The Whole Grain Council’s website.
They’ve got some good recipes there too. It’s super easy to cook and only takes 15 minutes! I use my rice-cooker. 1 part quinoa, 2 parts water is all you need. One cup of uncooked seeds yields 4 servings. Just make sure you rinse the seeds a couple of times before cooking. Remember that bitter coating I mentioned? You want to avoid bringing that flavor to your food.
Enjoy and be healthy!