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What is quinoa?

Nobody seems to know how to say it or what exactly it is. That’s the joke in the new Bud Light commercial about the whole grain “quinoa.” It shows a guy tailgating when he realizes his wife packed another one of those “kee-no” burgers. He apparently ate one of these by accident before the last game, resulting in a lucky win for his team. Descriptions like “dirty old tree branch” and “loofah” are used to describe the “kee-no,” but the guy chooses to eat it anyway to help his team. The commercial ends with him belting out, “It’s a kee-no!!”

It’s hilarious. Here’s to Bud Light for another great commercial and for recognizing the power of whole grains! I decided to honor quinoa’s moment in the spotlight by telling you a bit more about it.

First of all, it’s not pronounced “kee-no,” although I’ve heard it pronounced many different ways over the years. The proper way to say it is “keen-wa.” It’s considered an ancient grain, with thousands of years of history in the human diet. It’s not only high in protein, but is considered a complete protein. This means it contains all necessary amino acids, making it an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans. As a whole grain, it is also an excellent source of fiber and important minerals. Recently quinoa has grown in popularity as a gluten-free grain alternative.

Here are some resources for quinoa recipes.  Basically you could substitute it for any grain in any recipe. These ideas will help to get you started exploring the flavor and use of quinoa.  Who knows, maybe it will also bring you luck!

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/cooking-with-quinoa-00412000073996/

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/whole-grains/quinoa/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/quinoa/index.html

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