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What Is Red Quinoa?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2016
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Red quinoa is a whole grain that is packed with protein. It offers all of the essential amino acids, making it ideal for people wanting to follow a healthful lifestyle. It is easy to cook and is gluten-free, making it a quick meal — and one that is safe for people with allergies to gluten products.

Many people are more familiar with the golden form of quinoa. Some people may prefer the red tone red quinoa over the paler golden color of the golden quinoa, but the two are identical in terms of nutrition. As a result, if one form of quinoa is more difficult to obtain or more expensive, it is acceptable to use the other form of quinoa.

Cooking red quinoa is relatively easy. Simply add 1 cup (about 226 grams) of quinoa to 2 cups (about 473 ml) of boiling water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth. The stove top should then be turned down to a simmer for about 15 minutes. At that time, the quinoa should appear nearly transparent with an obvious plant germ bursting from the grain. Such an appearance is a sign that it has finished cooking and is ready to be fluffed or stirred, and eaten.

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Many people prefer to eat red quinoa plain, but a dash of salt, a splash of soy sauce, or a pat of butter can be added as well. Other people prefer to use red quinoa in recipes, often as a substitute for rice. For example, it can be used as a main dish in a meatless loaf, meatless patties, or even quinoa-stuffed bell peppers. It also can be consumed at breakfast, often as a substitute for oatmeal or other hot cereals. In addition, it can be combined with a plethora of vegetables and spices to make a wide variety of side dishes, salads, or appetizers.

Red quinoa offers many health benefits. For example, it is high in fiber, so it is a good food option for people who have digestive issues. In addition, it contains all of the essential amino acids. Lysine, for example, is an amino acid that helps with the growth, maintenance, and repair of tissue. Other amino acids are helpful in developing and maintaining healthy bones, strong muscles, and elastic skin.

The majority of red quinoa is grown in the mountains of Bolivia. Although it is possible to grow the grain other places, it grows best in the cool, fertile mountains. The seeds are typically planted in August, and the plants are harvested in May. It is believed to descend from the time of the ancient Incas and was thought to give their warriors extra energy and strength due to its high levels of protein.

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