Originated in the Andean region of South America and considered as “the mother of the grains” by the Incas, quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains in the whole world. It has an almost perfect amino acid composition and contains calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B, magnesium, iron, and lysine (which helps in the development of the brain), it is low in sodium and doesn’t contain cholesterol.
Quinoa is gluten free and easy to digest. What's more important is that this grain contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat.
Its leaves are also eaten as a vegetable. Quinoa has a nutty flavor; there are 3 types (black, red and white). The tri-color (mix of red, black and white grains) are also becoming quite popular.
The principal benefits of quinoa is that it can prevent breast cancer, osteoporosis, and heart diseases. It’s even more important for the kids because the quinoa helps them in their growth development, sustains energy and helps to prevent obesity.
Nowadays, it is being considered as an important food ingredient by NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS).
How can it be used? in pastas, soups, puffed cereals, side dishes and more!