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Learn to Love: Quinoa

We all know that eating whole grains is so good for us. It gives us sustained energy, contains protein and has fiber to keep us regular. Some grains can be difficult to digest, but not Quinoa. It's light and easy on your tummy because it's not sticky or heavy.

How does it taste? Quinoa doesn't have a very unique or strong flavor whatsoever, so you can eat it plain, or it'll take on the flavor of whatever you add to it. The texture however is very unique. It's firmer than rice or cooked millet, kind of like al dente pasta. You can also buy it in 2 varieties - white or red, which makes it the most exciting grain of all.

Another great thing about quinoa is that it's fast and requires hardly any effort to make. All you do is take a pot, add 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. Cover the pot and cook it on HIGH. After it comes to a boil, reduce to simmer. After 20 minutes, give it a stir and it's done. How easy is that?

OK, so it tastes good and it's easy to make, but is it good for you? YES! It's nutritionally unbelievable. Want to see the stats? Then

Here's how 1/4 cup of dry Quinoa compares to other grains:
Grain Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Protein (g)
Quinoa 140 1 29 6 6
Amaranth 170 2 29 3 7
Barley 176 .5 38 7.8 5
Brown Rice 171 1.25 36 1.5 3.75
Millet 150 1.5 34 2 5
Oats 77 1 13 2 3
Spelt 50 .5 13 3.5 2
Wheat 140 0 29 6 5

I love that it has 6g of protein and 6g of fiber. It's very similar to wheat, but so versatile. You can add it as a side dish to a meal, or add your favorite ingredients and make it a meal all on its own.

This is what Quinoa looks like cooked. It has such a delightfully simple taste and interesting texture, it's sure to be a hit the next time you serve it.

Fit's Tips: Looking for a delicious way to eat quinoa? Check out this recipe for Garden Vegetable Quinoa.

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