5 Questions About Quinoa

photo credit: nerissa's ring via photopin cc

photo credit: nerissa’s ring via photopin cc

It seems that I can’t open a magazine or browse Pinterest without seeing recipes that include quinoa or brag about its nutritional value. If you have quinoa questions I have answers.

  1. I bought a Bag of Quinoa… now what?
    I have been asked this question a few times, you know that quinoa is a superfood and full of protein but what do you do with it? It’s a lot like rice. You can cook it in a pot or in a rice cooker with water, spices, or broth. Use the ratio of one part quinoa to two parts liquid and cook until fluffy and tender. You can cook it in my favorite, quinoa and cheese or make quinoa pilaf.
  2. What is Quinoa?
    Quinoa is a grain and while it is cooked like wheat, barley, rye and oats, it is in the same food family that contains spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. It comes from South America and exploded in popularity a few years ago.
  3. Where Do I find Quinoa?
    Check out the bulk bins of your grocery and store in a clean, dry, glass jar. Before cooking, it is best to rinse the quinoa.
  4. What Nutritional Value Does Quinoa Have?
    Quinoa is high in protein and amino acids. “It is also a good source of heart-healthy magnesium, folate, and fiber, as well as bone-building phosphorus and copper” (The World’s Healthiest Foods).
  5. How do I say it?
    Quinoa is pronounced as KEEN-wah. I think it’s so much fun to say. When I introduced it to my husband, he brought it up in every conversation he had with family and friends. I think it was because it’s so much fun to say.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for a recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

photo credit: fred_v via photopin cc

photo credit: fred_v via photopin cc

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How To Clean a Pomegranate

How to Clean a Pomegranate.

On Monday, we discussed the healthy benefits of pomegranates and then on Tuesday we shared a recipe to use them in a fruit parfait. Today I’m showing you how to clean the seeds out of a pomegranate. It can be really frustrating when getting the delicious seeds out of a pomegranate and the juice can stain everything. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s an easy way to get to those yummy seeds.

What you’ll need:

  • Large bowl
  • Large knife
  • Water

Method:

  1. In the bowl, cut your pomegranate in half. Then cut those halves again, you are quartering your pomegranate.
  2. Fill your bowl with water. Keep pom quarters in the bowl after cutting, you’ll want to keep everything in the water to avoid staining your clothes, hands, and the counter top. Continue reading
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5 Pomegranate Perks

Five Pomegranate Perks

Pomegranates are often called a superfood but what make them so special? Find out!

  1. Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants. Seeds are full of B vitamins, potassium, and folic acid.
  2. A study completed in 2006 revealed that pomegranate’s anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent cancer. Pomegranate juice may help the body’s attack cancer cells in human breast, prostate and colon cancer. How amazing is that?
  3. Studies have also found that pomegranate helps prevent and might even help fight cardiovascular disease.
  4. There are five grams of fiber in a half cup of pomegranate seeds.
  5. “Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidants. The three types – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – are present in many fruits, but fresh pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three.” From the Pom Council Website.

I love pomegranates! They are fantastic on yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, salads, and on their own. Check out this Antioxidant and Protein Parfait.

Want more health food information? Sign up for my RSS Feed or subscribe to the Lindsay Ann Loft Newsletter.

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/pomegranate-power
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/superfood-pomegranate-health-benefits-tips.html#ixzz2HzqBe2Yr
http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/health-benefit-of-pomegranate-juice
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/may2007_report_pomegranate_01.htm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-galland-md/pomegranate-juice-health-benefits_b_946853.html
http://pomegranates.org/index.php?c=3

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5 Pumpkin Perks

Image Copyright Somebox.

Pumpkins make a strong comeback when it comes to Fall. This autumn squash is very healthy. Just be mindful pumpkin can quickly become a sugary, calorie rich dessert.

  1. Pumpkin contains well over your daily requirement of vitamin A (700% DV in 1 cup). Vitamin A is involved with immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. Source.
  2. It’s full of fiber, pumpkin puree contains 7 grams of fiber in 1 cup.
  3. Pumpkin contains high levels of vitamin C which can help your immune system. It also contains more potassium than a banana.
  4. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc.
  5. Pureed pumpkins contain lutein and zeaxanthin which can help your vision health. Pumpkin is also a good source of beta carotine which can help lower chances of cardiovascular disease.

Enjoy pumpkins in breads, pies, and mix a bit with cinnamon and a bit of sugar in oatmeal, or add it to a smoothie.

Sources:
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/469900-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-eating-pumpkin-puree/
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-pumpkin-squash.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82

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The Clean Fifteen

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Last Monday, I wrote about the Dirty Dozen and this week is about the Clean Fifteen. These are the foods that are most protect and least sprayed per the Environmental Working Group.

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe – Domestic
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

So if you are unable to buy the dirty dozen as organic, these fruits and veggies will offer great nutrition without the chemicals.

I hope this list helps you when you are shopping. What are your favorite foods that are on the Clean 15 list?

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