Scientific Name: Chenopodium quinoa
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) originates in the Andean region of South America. It was first used for livestock nearly 7,000 years ago and humans 4,000 years ago. For those who are allergic to gluten, it is an important food source. Quinoa can be found in a variety of forms: chips, flakes, or flour.
Although cooked, the nutrient content of quinoa is still high. Based on our research, cooked quinoa still contains a high amount of protein (9% daily value [DV]), with arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid being the most prominent amino acids. Additionally, cooked quinoa has manganese (32% DV), as well as magnesium (16% DV), which is important for bone, heart, and muscle/nerve health. Besides those minerals, cooked quinoa also contains 11% DV of fiber; a good amount compared to other sources of food.
There are many ways to cook quinoa. One of the easiest ways is to substitute it for rice, or combine it with salt, pepper, lemon or lime juice, and drizzle on some olive oil to make a salad. Because of its light taste and fluffy texture, it can be easily spiced up with sweet or savory seasonings. One can also add some texture to their chocolate or yogurt by adding cooked quinoa to these foods as well.