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Quinoa: How to Pronounce It and Why You Should Eat It


Quin-what? How do I pronounce this food that is so popular in the health community lately? Is it "kwuh-NO-uh” or “KWIN-wah”? Quin-NO. The truth is, it's pronounced "keen-wah."

What is it, and why is so healthy?

Quinoa is a seed that you can cook as a grain.

A serving of quinoa is high in phytonutrients and flavonoids which are great cancer fighters. Quinoa is also rich in nutrients including manganese, magnesium, tryptophan, folate and phosphorus — all essential to a healthful diet to keep your cells and bodily processes working well. In addition, it's filled with anti-inflammatory properties and heart protective fatty acids. Compared to other grains, quinoa is significantly higher in calcium and protein.

How to cook it?

Quinoa is a great alternative to rice, pasta, couscous, oatmeal or other grains, and it is as simple to prepare as a rice. To cook quinoa, use the same proportions as you would for rice: 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. As you bring the water to a boil, rinse the quinoa well under running water. Add the quinoa to the boiling water (you can add a little salt or olive oil if you like), and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and voila!

The deal with quinoa — similar to rice, pasta or couscous — is that it can be a bit bland tasting when prepared with just water. To make your quinoa more flavorful, cook it in a low-sodium soup stock, broth or consommé instead of water. If you chose to prepare it with water, you can prepare it as a salad. Once the quinoa is cooled, add some diced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, a little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper. You really cannot go wrong here.

Cool tip: Consider making quinoa stuffed peppers.

How to eat it?

While quinoa is usually served as a side dish or as an accompaniment to a lunch or dinner, it also makes a fabulous breakfast and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Cook the quinoa similar to how you would prepare oatmeal, but substitute in milk instead of the water (almond milk, cow's milk, coconut milk or soy milk). When it's ready, top it with your favorite hot cereal toppings such as: nuts, dried cranberries, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries or a drizzle of honey. This breakfast will keep you satisfied and energized for hours.

If you are looking for an exciting new cereal, try quinoa granola, which is great for breakfast or snacking.

Quinoa mystery solved!

Keri is a contributing editor and advisory board member for Women's Health Magazine, and she is also the Nutrition and Health contributor for NBC's New York Live. Keri is regularly featured on national television programs including NBC's The Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America, Access Hollywood Live, The View, The Talk, The Chew, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, The Rachael Ray Show, The Steve Harvey Show, MSNBC, The Fox News Channel, and CNN. She hosts an original series called "A Little Bit Better" which is featured on Youtube's LIVESTRONG Woman channel.

Keri resides in New York City with her children, Rex and Maizy. Whether she is training for a marathon, going to the farmers' market, or drinking her nightly cup of herbal tea, Keri lives and breathes a Nutritious Life while inspiring others to do the same.

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