What is quinoa?

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pierino
pierino September 16, 2011

Quinoa is a seed cultivated in Bolivia. Super high in protein. It's described as a grain but it is just barely. Cooks up like rice in roughly the same 2/1 water ratio except that it doesn't take as long. And it tastes really good.

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wssmom
wssmom September 16, 2011

It's not considered a grain because it's not a member of the grass family. In its natural state it is coated with saponins, which are bitter; most of the quinoa sold in North America has been processed to remove this coating, but it's still a good idea to give it a good rinse before cooking!

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la domestique
la domestique September 16, 2011

According to Maria Speck, author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, quinoa is botanically part of the goosefoot family (like spinach and chard). It is gluten-free and contains all essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Quinoa comes in several different colors- red, black, ivory, and more. Wssmom is right to rinse the grains before cooking. I love quinoa because it's quick-cooking and has a nice nutty flavor.

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nishis
nishis September 16, 2011

It's "high protein" only relative to other grains, cooks quickly, and has a pleasing fluffy texture that absorbs sauces nicely. Just try it and see if you like it!

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