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QUINOA

Quinoa, pronounced 'keen-wah,' is an annual plant native to the Andes Mountains of South America, and is cultivated for its edible seeds. Its tiny bead-like grains are high in protein and contain all essential amino acids, in addition to significant amounts of calcium, niacin, iron, phosphorus and potassium - a nutritional powerhouse.  It is also gluten free.

Quinoa has a fairly bland flavor, with a slight nutty taste and soft, crunchy texture, and like rice is an excellent supporting player for other flavors.

It cooks in just 10 or 15 minutes, and expands to about four times its volume when cooked.  One cup of quinoa cooked in 2 cups of liquid yields 4 cups   It is also available in flour form and made into pasta.

It has a more delicate flavor than the other grains and can be added to pilafs, stews, salads or bread. Quinoa can be found in the specialty section of supermarkets, gourmet food shops and health food stores.


 

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