Quinoa is one of those "super foods" people keep talking about and I think it's pretty super too. Ridiculously healthy and even though it's considered a grain, technically its a seed originally grown in the Andes Mountains of South America. It is a great source of dietary fiber  and calcium, and is high in magnesium and iron. I love to toss cold, cooked quinoa in salads just as an addition for the nutritional value. And it doesn't weigh you down like pasta and potatoes do.

Nutritionally, quinoa has almost EVERYTHING, so I'm just going to list them out:

Here's what you'll get from eating one cup of cooked quinoa:

  • 220 calories (70% carbs, 15% fat, 15% protein)
  • 40 grams of carbohydrates (13% daily value)
  • 8 grams of protein (16% of daily value)
  • 3.5 grams of fat (5% daily value with no saturated fat)
  • A glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 18 out of 250
  • 5 grams of fiber (20% of daily value)
  • 20% of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B)
  • 30% of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches); 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; iron (15 percent); copper (18 percent); and manganese (almost 60 percent)

One of my favorite things about quinoa is that you can put it in EVERYTHING. Seriously. I cook it in my rice cooker like I cook rice (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water). Sometimes I'll add lemon or lime juice, cilantro, garlic, or onions to the water mixture to cook in flavor. Think of everything you use rice for, then replace that with quinoa. Its that easy.

Quinoa can also be a breakfast dish and I promise I'm going to experiment with that and let you know how it goes.