Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a seed that originated in the Andes Mountains of South America. Though it has been cultivated for thousands of years, quinoa has only recently become popular in the U.S. due to its outstanding health benefits.
There are three main types of quinoa: red, white and black. White quinoa is the most common and, though all three are very similar and can be used interchangeably, it is the mildest of the three. Red and black quinoa have a flavor that is slightly more bold and crunchy.
Cooking any color of quinoa is a simple process. All you need is a cup of the seeds, water, and salt.
To add a bit more flavor to your quinoa, you can boil it in vegetable or chicken broth using the same process.
In a word, bland. The flavor of quinoa is very mild and when served on its own it won't exactly be delicious. This is where you can get creative to add more flavor. Here are some simple ways to cook quinoa that will taste delicious:
Though quinoa is technically a seed, you can use it like a grain. This breakfast bowl is a tasty way to incorporate quinoa into your morning. Just cook the seeds with almond milk and cinnamon sticks, then add in nuts and fruit.
Adding quinoa into a soup lets the seeds really soak with all the other flavors and completely eliminate the bland taste. This recipe is light but filling and incredibly healthy.
Using quinoa as a base in a casserole with broccoli and cheese not only adds flavor to the seeds, but is incredibly hardy and has a unique texture.
As mentioned earlier, quinoa is a superfood -- it's filled with nutrients, high in protein, gluten-free and is one of the only plants that contain all nine essential amino acids. One cup of quinoa contains 222 calories, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fat.