I have noticed that I have been very general in my posts lately, but I have never given any posts about a single food with what one might call “Superpowers”. So starting today, we will have a once-in-a-while thing known as “Superfood Friday”!
Thinking over the many foods with these powers, one comes to mind that triumphs over them all in my opinion: Quinoa. (pronounced: (Keen-Wah)
This small grain might just be every vegan, vegetarian, or health nuts ultimate food. It has more protein than any other grain (sometimes 20% as apposed to 8 percent in rice or 14 for wheat), and is incredibly easy to digest. Not only does it have enough fiber and protein in it with the very few calories it holds but it also contains a very special type of protein with all eight of the essential amino acids, an ideal balance of protein for our bodies. This may be the reason why NASA is considering it as a crop for the CELSS (Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems) for long-term space flights.
Quinoa has a very grainy texture and some consider it’s flavor bland. I personal enjoy the natural flavors of this rising food, but the subtle flavors make it perfect for any kind of cooking. The diversity and possibilities of this one small dish is infinite and can be incorporated into anything from savory to sweet, as it adds it healthy twist to just about anything.
It is also extremely simple to cook. For every 1 part quinoa, add 2 parts water (or another liquid), and boil until the water is absorbed. Having a love for this nutrient-dense dish, here are a few ideas that I have incorporated into:
-Green Tea Quinoa: Substitute the water for tea for an floral scent and flavor.
-Mix in goat cheese for creaminess and tartness with a kick and avocado for a beautiful color and texture
-Nutella Quinoa: Mix in ground hazelnut and 1tbsp. Vanilla to the water you use to boil it. Then add 1 oz of dark chocolate (I use 88%) and 1 tbsp. honey for every 1cup of quinoa.
-Once cooked, mix in some peanut butter (or any other kind of nut butter, my favorites being cashew or almond) and slice some bananas to put in it.
-Add a little rosemary and some small vegetables like chopped carrots and celery, and a spoon full of green peas.
-Sprinkle it over some spinach and tomatoes for a delicious salad.
This is just a few of the hundreds of possibilities you can use quinoa to give your dish a little bit of texture and a whole lot of nutritional benefits. It can be found in most health food departments of local grocery stores. It may be more expensive than rice or other grains but once you add this culinary wonder to your palate, you will never turn back.
-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-