What the heck is quinoa? Quinoa is not a grain; it is actually a seed and is related to the spinach family. It cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for the muscles. Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. Quinoa acts as a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your intestines. It is also known to increase Insulin sensitivity while reducing triglycerides (blood fats which need to be kept low in diabetics). As you can see, the benefits of quinoa are absolutely amazing and it tastes good too! I have tried quinoa many different ways and this is by far my favorite. I paired it with mushrooms but it is great with anything.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Pinch of dried basil
- Pinch of dried thyme
Directions: Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Dump the quinoa into the crock pot. Add the olive oil and mix around. Pour in the chicken broth, and add the salt and cinnamon. Stir in the almonds and cranberries. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2 to 4 hours. The quinoa is done when you can fluff it with a fork and it is tender.
Little Debbie’s Tip: I highly recommend buying the pre-washed quinoa so that you can skip an extra step. Every minute counts, right?