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AboutTricia Thompson, MS, RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide and has a MS degree in nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA degree in English Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont.
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by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD
The Gluten-Free Dietitian
Quinoa is my favorite gluten-free grain.
I love quinoa. It tastes good, is packed with nutrients, and is easy to cook. What more could you want in a food?
If the grains in your gluten-free diet consist primarily of corn and rice, you owe it to yourself to try quinoa - really!
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has been eaten for thousands of years in parts of South America. In recent years it has become increasing well known due in part to growing awareness of the gluten-free diet. If we are partly responsible for the surge in popularity of quinoa we owe it to ourselves to at least try it - right?
Quinoa is available in both white and red varieties and is about the size of a sesame seed. The most convenient form to purchase quinoa is prewashed. Quinoa contains an outer coating of saponin that is very bitter and must be removed to make the grain palatable. If you don't buy pre-washed quinoa you will have to rinse it before cooking. If you skip this step you won't like the result.
Easy, tasty, nutritious!
Quinoa cooks in about 15 minutes - quicker than rice! It has a very mild taste and takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked or served with. It reminds me a bit of tofu in this regard.
Quinoa is a tasty source of protein, fiber, iron, and B vitamins - the latter three being nutrients that may be lacking in gluten-free diets. A half-cup serving of cooked quinoa contains 4 grams of protein, 2.6 ... Continue
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