You know that feeling when a food is just so right for you? You feel better just thinking about it and there is no doubt you should be eating it. It tastes wonderful. You are immediately provided what your body needs and you feel good long after the meal is over. Pure nourishment. For me and my sidekick thyroid, quinoa delivers every time.
Quinoa is very nutritious and provides some key thyroid-boosting minerals. It is an excellent source of manganese, which provides optimal function of the thyroid gland and acts as an anti-oxidant. It also is a good source of magnesium which helps the body relax and provides relief from migraines(!!!). Quinoa also contains copper which helps the body make thyroid hormone. As if that wasn’t enough, quinoa is gluten-free, has fiber, folate, phosphorous and iron AND is a complete source of protein. This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids, the ones that the body needs to get from diet.
Adding to the awesomeness, quinoa is extremely versatile in the kitchen and can be combined with both sweet and savory foods. Quinoa can be easily incorporated into any meal of the day. Recipes to come! In the meantime, here is my basic recipe for fail proof, perfect quinoa every time:
1. Rinse desired amount of quinoa. I do this several times to ensure the bitter saponin coating is washed away and that my food is extra clean, especially after spending much of its adult life in a bulk bin. An easy way to rinse the quinoa is to use a large jar filled with quinoa and water, put the lid on and shake it. Pour off excess liquid, using the jar lid as a strainer. Repeat until water runs clear.
2. Soak quinoa with clean, filtered water in a 2 to 1 ratio of water to grain. The quinoa will expand. Quinoa can be soaked from 30 minutes to overnight. Soaking is an important step as it makes the grain more digestible and therefore easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients.
3. After soaking, pour off excess liquid and rinse well. Note expanded quinoa level on soaking container. Add this same amount of water and the quinoa to a pot, cover and boil.
4. Once the quinoa is at a boil, turn to low and simmer, covered for another 15 minutes.
Quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. It is a great substitution for other grains. Quinoa tabouli is a personal favorite. Veggies and/or greens can be served on top of a bed of quinoa. A Mexican-inspired dish can be easily made by adding beans, tomatoes, guacamole, etc. Quinoa can also be made into breakfast porridge by adding dried fruit, maple syrup, cinnamon, nuts and anything else your morning heart desires. The possibilities are limitless. Me and my thyroid totally heart quinoa.