Q&A: Pass the Quinoa

Q: Why is quinoa so expensive and is it really good for you?

~Marcie (MA)

A: Greetings to you Marcie!!  Great inquiry about quinoa, often touted as a “super grain.”  Funny enough, quinoa is not an actual grain and is related to leafy, green veggies, i.e. spinach.  Quinoa has earned its notoriety because of the numerous health and nutritious benefits it offers.  Quinoa doesn’t contain any gluten so it is a viable alternative for those who have a sensitivity to wheat products or have Celiac Disease, a disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.  Additionally quinoa is a great source of protein; 1 cup cooked has approximately 9 grams protein.  It is also rich in potassium, magnesium and manganese. So, in summary yes, it is quite good for you!
Your best bet for purchasing quinoa at an inexpensive price is to go to a natural foods store, i.e. Whole Foods.  Buying quinoa from bulk bins by the pound will be cheaper than pre-packaged boxes.
Thanks for writing to Miss Chef RD!!

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