Beans sit near the top of the list as one of the healthiest food options out there, but they are not alone. Say hello to…

A word 'quinoa' written with quinoa seeds

You may have heard of quinoa before, but what is it exactly and why is it considered a “superfood” that is taking the culinary world by storm? More importantly, why do quinoa and beans go so well together? Let’s dive a little bit more into quinoa, shall we?

“The Mother Grain”

Known in it’s native Bolivia as “The Mother Grain”, this gluten-free grain is actually more closely related to spinach and beets than wheat. It has recently been singled out as having high nutritive value, as about one cup of quinoa is packed to the gills with essential nutrients. Just one cup contains 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and high percentages of iron, magnesium, folate and omega-3 fatty acids.

It is also considered a “complete protein”, containing all 9 essential amino acids necessary for good health and a strong diet.

Studies have also shown that quinoa has anti-inflammatory benefits. Quinoa has similar properties to other kinds of food known to lower cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All of these combine to get a strong seal of approval from many health agencies.

Quinoa and Beans

So why do quinoa and beans work so well together as part of a balanced and healthy diet? Beans and quinoa carry many similar properties. Beans are packed full of fiber and protein and are great for digestion and fighting heart disease among other benefits. When working in tandem, there is no better preventative against heart disease and sources of fiber and protein out there.

Beans and quinoa don’t just work together “behind the scenes”, they are also a terrific pairing for your taste buds! Cooked quinoa has a taste and texture resembling that of brown rice, so the rich and creamy presence of beans play off each other nicely!

They are both very versatile ingredients to any dish and can play many different roles. We’ve included quinoa with our recipes in the past with terrific outcomes! They work together well in a more traditional bean salad concoction as headliners like in our Southwest Black Bean & Quinoa Salad, as more of a support flavor and texture in our Apple Chicken Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Quinoa or even in a good ol’ veggie burger.

 

With its great taste and superb health benefits, we’ve fallen head over heels for quinoa. We like it so much in fact, that we’ve decided to make it the centerpiece for our latest cookbook! We’ve paired quinoa with another great superfood, kale, for one of our healthiest – and tastiest – cookbooks yet. Including the dishes we just shared with you and many more, our new book is packed full of recipes pairing quinoa and beans, kale and beans and even all three into delightfully delicious and healthy dishes everyone will enjoy.

Download the FREE cookbook today or check out our recipe page for more great bean-inspired ideas!

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