Category Archives: Foods

Introducing Quinoa

Raw Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins. It was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago; they referred to it as the “mother of all grains.” It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc.

While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard and spinach. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect as other whole grains in helping to stabilize blood sugar.

It has a waxy protective coating called saponin which can leave a bitter taste. For best results, rinse or soak quinoa before you cook it. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge or as its own side dish.

Here’s a basic recipe for cooking Quinoa:

  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • Water for soaking
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth or chicken stock
  1. Put quinoa in a bowl, cover with water, and stir
  2. Soaking Quinoa
  3. Soak for 10 minutes, then rinse.
  4. Place quinoa in a pan and add 4 cups water, broth, or stock.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and reduce heat.
  7. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  8. You'll know the quinoa is ready when the seeds turn transparent and the spiral-like germ has separated.

In Search of a Healthy Cereal

CerealI’m often asked what is a healthy cereal to eat for breakfast. I had to do some research because I haven’t been a fan of cereal for years and years. I was also asked about Kashi cereal, surely they’re good? I did know about Kashi. I knew that they had been in the news lately because GMO soy had been found in Kashi Cereal. To their credit, it wasn’t found in all cereals and Kashi is working to be GMO free.

Still, what about cereal in general. When I think of cereal, I think of carbs. Lots of carbs and little protein. Plus, I think of sugar. Perhaps because that’s how I was raised. A few years back, we ate cereal for breakfast every morning – usually oatmeal. I was always hungry mid-morning for protein. Eventually, we switched our breakfasts to include protein and I had a better start to the day. Today, we have toast (home-made, 100% whole wheat bread) with almond butter, fruit and yogurt (also home-made).

Back to the cereal question. If you want to know the ratings of various cereals, then I suggest you search Fooducate for cereals. They have information and ratings for many different cereals. (They also have an iPhone app that scans bar codes at the grocery and gives instant feedback.) You could even download it today and try it on your cereal in the morning!

What is your breakfast experience?