Food spotlight: quinoa
Quinoa is an ancient whole grain high in protein, fibre and numerous vitamins and minerals. Below is a chart comparing the nutrient profiles of quinoa, brown rice and white rice (unenriched).
|Nutrient (per 1 cup, cooked)||Quinoa||Brown rice||White rice|
|Carbohydrate||39 g||~||45 g||~||45 g||~|
|Protein||8 g||~||5 g||~||4 g||~|
|Fat||4 g||~||2 g||~||0 g||~|
|Fibre||5 g||~||4 g||~||1 g||~|
|Iron||2.8 mg||15%||0.8mg||5%||0.3 mg||2%|
|Calcium||31mg||3%||18.5 mg||2%||15.8 mg||2%|
|Zinc||2 mg||13%||1.2 mg||8%||0.8 mg||5%|
|Magnesium||118 mg||30%||84 mg||21%||19 mg||5%|
|Potassium||318 mg||9%||84 mg||2%||55 mg||2%|
|Phosphorus||281 mg||28%||162 mg||16%||68 mg||7%|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg||11%||0.3 mg||14%||0.1 mg||7%|
|Folate (B9)||78 mcg||19%||7.8 mcg||2%||4.7 mcg||1%|
|Thiamin (B1)||0.2 mg||13%||0.2 mg||13%||0.0 mg *||2%|
|Niacin (B3)||0.8 mg||4%||3 mg||15%||0.6 mg||3%|
* Trace amounts, DV= daily value
How to cook it:
Rinse 1/2 cup of dry quinoa with cold water. Add the rinsed quinoa to 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes. The grains will look translucent when fully cooked. Serves 2.
How to use it:
Breakfast: Prepare quinoa as a hot cereal. Stir in a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. Top with milk and fresh fruit.
Lunch/Dinner: Add cooked quinoa to a salad or soup, use it anywhere you would use rice (stir fry, side dish), or try quinoa salmon patties
Dessert: Make a quinoa pudding:
Use quinoa to make cookies, as in this creative recipe:
Where to find it:
Quinoa can be found at any natural food store, as well as some grocery and corner stores. However, at some places it can be quite expensive (so shop around). I found that the cheapest place to get it by far is at Costco: $10.49 for a 4 lb bag (which makes 41 servings) of organic quinoa. This works out to be $2.62/lb or $0.58/100g or $0.25/serving.