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Quinoa – pronounced keen-wah – is a grain, but not just any grain. It is considered to be almost a complete food. It is very high in protein, full of vitamins, gluten- and wheat-free, cholesterol-free and usually organic. And it is simply delicious. An ancient plant native to the Andes mountains, quinoa is known to have been a staple food of the Incas. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. It is also a very good source of manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, copper, zinc, vitamins E and B6, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. It has more calcium than cow’s milk, is an excellent antioxidant, is rich in dietary fibre and has more iron than any grain. It also has the highest content of unsaturated fats and a lower ratio of carbohydrates than any other grain plus a low Glycemic Index level. The health benefits are truly enormous. In the kitchen, quinoa has a huge range of uses and lends itself beautifully to many dishes. When cooked, it has a very delicate texture and is lovely in soups and sweets, and makes wonderful salads, pasta, breads and delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. It is simple to prepare, easy to digest and most enjoyable to eat. It is very light on the stomach and you don’t tend to feel at all heavy after eating a meal made with quinoa.
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