If you have never tried quinoa, now is a great time to give it a shot! This tiny seed is often referred to as a super food, because it provides the body with everything you need to survive.

Not only is quinoa loaded with healthy low-glycemic carbohydrates, it is also a great source of plant based protein. Additionally, quinoa is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. A single serving of quinoa had 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and 15.5 mg of calcium.! It provides a great source of iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. Quinoa is so nutrient dense that many experts have said that if they had to pick just one food to survive on, quinoa would be it.

What makes quinoa stand out is the fact that it offers amino rich protein. It has all nine of the amino acids that you need to survive, making it a complete protein. Most grain type foods do not supply your body with enough lysine, but quinoa does. Lysine is particularly important to your body because it plays such a critical role in cellular repair. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the protein quality is equal to that of dried whole milk.

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If you have food sensitivities, you will be happy to know that quinoa is on your list of safe foods. In fact, many nutritional experts say that quinoa is one of the best foods around for those who have food allergies. Although many people refer to it as a grain, in actuality it is not. It is a "pseudo" grain, that is not a member of the grass family. Quinoa is a seed that is related to spinach, chard and beets. Although the leafy part of the plant is also edible, it is the seeds that are commercially available. The high protein content is thanks to the fact that the germ of quinoa is bigger than grains and encircles the entire outer surface.

If you do decide to give quinoa a try, you will be happy to learn that there are many ways that you can enjoy it. It can be substituted for most any grain, and it particularly good when substituted for rice. One think to keep in mind is that the outside of quinoa is covered in a bitter and soapy substance called saponin. Saponin protects quinoa as it grows but is very bitter and can cause digestive issues. You need to rinse quinoa under warm water for four or five minutes prior to serving.

Of course, there is a lot more to learn about cooking quinoa. To learn the best ways to prepare quinoa, and for my favorite quinoa recipes please visit us at http://www.cookingquinoa.net. There you will also find my best hummus recipe.

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