Quinoa's popularity has surged among health food gurus, vegetarians, and foodies of all sorts. But why the hype?
The grain has been called a superfood because of its highly nutritious composition. Quinoa is rich in amino acids, proteins that are important building blocks in a balanced diet. The grain also fits with the drive toward more gluten-free food options. Combine this with a mild, versatile flavor and simple preparation and it's easy to see why quinoa is sweeping restaurant menus and grocery store shelves alike.
But the food isn't limited to restaurants and grocery stores — or even earth. A little over 20 years ago NASA recognized the crop for its out-of-this-world benefits for astronauts due to its "high concentration of protein" and "ease of use," among other reasons.
In recent years quinoa's popularity has naturally caused an impressive increase in production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, worldwide quinoa production increased nearly 150 percent between 2010 and 2014 with most of the harvest coming from Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Whether you're a certified foodie, dining out at a local restaurant, or an astronaut, quinoa could be the perfect solution for your next meal. Share some fruit and berry quinoa salad with friends or family and test their knowledge on quinoa's benefits and background.
Fruit and berry quinoa salad
Prep time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
1 (9 oz.) jar Smucker's® Fruit & Honey Triple Berry Fruit Spread, or your favorite berry flavor
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup canola oil
5 cups mixed fresh berries
3 cups cooked and cooled truRoots® Accents® Organic Sprouted Quinoa Trio
1/4 cup crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese
1. Whisk fruit spread, water, vinegar, mustard and oil in medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Blend berries and 1/2 cup dressing in medium bowl until combined. Place quinoa on serving platter. Top with fruit. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining dressing.