Melissa Guido, Registered Dietitian, foodie, and quinoa-maker, is sharing 3 ways to incorporate more quinoa into your diet. Because in addition to being tricky to pronounce, quinoa is really good for you and super tasty. She's got a great video that accompanies this blog, and includes the recipes, so thanks, Melissa, for making quinoa a little less intimidating!
As a dietitian, I don’t believe in “super foods”, but I do believe there are some “trendy” foods out there that are worth the hype. Quinoa has burst on to the health food scene pretty quickly in the last year or two, and I’m a certainly glad it has. Quinoa is an ancient grain with many proven health benefits, including the fact that it is high in fiber and packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Quinoa is gluten free and contains Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Folate, Copper, Iron, and Zinc, Potassium, and B Vitamins. Not only that, but quinoa contains all nine amino acids essential to the human body, making it a Complete protein, just like animal protein sources.
While quinoa has become increasingly popular, it can be a little foreign and intimidating to someone who has never eaten, or tried to cook it before. I assure you it is simple and fool-proof, but just incase you need a little more encouragement, I wanted to share a few different ways you can incorporate this nutritious grain into your diet.
Quinoa for Breakfast
We eat oats for breakfast, so why not quinoa? The nutty flavor of this grain mixes perfectly with something like bananas, cinnamon, and milk to make a satisfying morning meal. The high fiber content will keep you full and the boost of vitamins and minerals will get your morning off to a healthy start.
While quinoa is incredibly nutritious on its own, adding lots of fruits and veggies to the mix can enhance the texture and flavor. I love adding spinach, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, and chicken to make a tasty and filling entrée. You can also leave out the meat and add any veggies or legumes you want to make the perfect vegetarian entrée or side dish.
Replace a Less Nutritious Grain
Since you know now about some of the amazing health benefits of quinoa, why not use it to replace a less nutritious grain in some of your staple meals. For example, instead of using fried rice in your stir-fry, swap in quinoa to add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This is especially great for vegetarians because you will add a whole grain, and a complete protein to the meal by making this easy swap. This can also be done for things like burrito bowls, stuffed peppers, or even Mac n Cheese.