Why is Quinoa so Awesome?
Quinoa, (pronounced KEEN-wah), has recently taken the spotlight as a sought-after health food. You’ll see it on the shelves at organic markets, or at a chic café; you might see it sprinkled in a kale salad, or mixed into a stir-fry. What makes quinoa so popular? It’s so nutritious!
Quinoa Comes from a Plant
The Inca Empire dubbed quinoa as the “mother of all grains,” but contrary to what you might think, quinoa is not a grain—even though it looks like one. Quinoa is a seed and it comes from a funnily named species of plant called goosefoot. Quinoa is actually a closer relative to beets than it is to cereals or grains.
If you wish to cut back on grains in your diet, replace rice with quinoa. Quinoa bowls are delish and very easy to make. In our Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Bowl meal kit, we combine hearty quinoa with corn and cilantro crema. Seasoned with chili powder and honey, it has an interesting balance of zest and saccharine.
Quinoa is a Super Food
“Superfoods,” like leafy greens, berries, salmon, and avocados—to name a few, describe foods that have distinctly high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
One cup of quinoa has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Compare this to a boiled egg, which is also a superfood. A boiled egg has only 6 grams of protein and zero grams of fiber.
Our Pesto Quinoa Bowl has both quinoa and boiled eggs, as well as tasty pesto and flavorful crimini mushrooms.
One cup of quinoa also has 58 percent of the recommended daily amount of manganese—required for bone growth and cellular functions, and it has 28 percent of the recommended daily amount of phosphorus, which assists in producing energy for the body.
Do you want to implement more superfoods into your diet? We make it easy with our meal kits, like the Salmon Quinoa Bowl. With kale, sautéed chickpeas, and tahini dressing, this meal will probably make you feel like you’re in the Mediterranean.
NASA Wants to Grow Quinoa in Space
Quinoa is so easy to grow and so high in nutritional content, NASA is considering growing it in space.
According to NASA:
For long-term space missions, quinoa is thought to meet the dietary needs of the astronauts on them, because it’s versatile and super sustaining.
If you want a meal that’s out of this world, but you’re limited by gravity and oxygen and a lack of a spaceship, you should try the Chili Mango Chicken dish by Men's Health. This dish has red quinoa, fresh ginger, sugar snap peas, and sambal chili paste.
What Else Does Quinoa Have to Offer?
- Quinoa is non-GMO
- Quinoa is gluten-free
- It’s easy to find quinoa organically grown
- Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids, (essential means that our bodies don’t produce these amino acids, but we have to get them through food).
- Replacing pasta and bread with quinoa can significantly reduce blood sugar.