Posts Under Tag: Organic

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Quinoa

1. Quinoa isn’t actually a grain at all. We cook and eat quinoa like many other grains, but, botanically speaking, it’s a relative of spinach, beets, and chard. The part we eat is actually the seed, cooked like rice, which is why quinoa is gluten-free. You can even eat the leaves! (Check out how crazy the plant looks!)

2. Quinoa is a complete protein. A 1955 paper dubbed quinoa a superstar long before 21st century publications were touting it for its nutritional powers. The authors of Nutritive Values of Crops, Nutrient Content and Protein Quality of Quinoa and Cañihua, Edible Seed Products of the Andes Mountains wrote:

“While no single food can supply all the essential life-sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom. That’s because quinoa is what’s called a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which cannot be made by the body and therefore must come from food.”

3. There are more than 100 types of quinoa. There are roughly 120 known varieties of quinoa, according to the Whole Grains Council. The most commercialized types are white, red, and black quinoa. White quinoa is the most widely available in stores. Red quinoa is more often used in meals like salads since it tends to hold its shape better after cooking. Black quinoa has an “earthier and sweeter” taste. You can also find quinoa flakes and flour.

4. You should probably rinse your quinoa. Those dried seeds are coated with a compound that would taste pretty bitter if you didn’t wash it off first. However, most modern-day packaged quinoa has been rinsed (a.k.a. processed), Cheryl Forberg, R.D., The Biggest Loser nutritionist and author of Cooking With Quinoa For Dummies, writes on her website. Still, she says, it’s probably a good idea to give yours a rinse before enjoying, just to be safe.

5. What’s the deal with that string? The cooking process releases what looks like a curly “tail” coming from the seed. That’s actually the germ of the seed, according to Forberg’s site, which separates slightly when your quinoa is ready.

5 Molasses Benefits

1. Diabetes-Friendly Sweetener

If you have diabetes and a sweet tooth, you have a bit of a conundrum. While blackstrap molasses is derived from sugar and adds as many carbohydrates as other sugars, it may be digested more slowly, which may help stabilize blood sugar.

You can use blackstrap molasses in baking sweet treats. It’s what gives gingerbread cookies their distinctive rich flavor.

2. Bone Booster

Everyone knows that calcium is needed for strong bones, but not everyone knows the importance that magnesium plays in growing them.

Blackstrap molasses contains both calcium and magnesium, so it can help you guard against osteoporosis. About 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, 95 percent of iron, and 38 percent of magnesium.

Adequate levels of magnesium are also crucial in preventing diseases like osteoporosis and asthma along with others that can affect your blood and heart.

3. Good for the Blood

People with anemia — a condition where your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells — often feel tired and weak. One type of anemia is caused by a lack of iron in the diet.

Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron. About 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 95 percent of your daily allowance of iron.

Besides adding it into recipes, you can add it to hot water and drink warm or cold as a dietary supplement.

4. Packed with Potassium

Bananas may be king when it comes to potassium, but blackstrap molasses is also packed with the stuff. Try mixing blackstrap molasses in with baked beans, or even use it as a basting glaze on chicken, turkey, or other meats. A spoonful straight can also give you a quick boost.

5. Hair De-Frizzer

Along with providing your body with important minerals, blackstrap molasses has been used to remove the frizziness in bleached, permed, or colored hair.

While pouring the sticky syrup directly into your hair is a pretty bad idea, it can be mixed with warm water and applied to the hair for 15 minutes. It can also be combined with other hair-healthy ingredients like your daily shampoo or coconut milk.