For individuals who cannot safely eat gluten and for anyone just looking to shake up his dietary routine, Bob's Red Mill now offers three new quinoa products: organic quinoa, organic red quinoa, and organic tricolor quinoa. During November 2013, all three products are 20% off, as is the cookbook Quinoa Revolution.
Why is quinoa an attractive option? First, it is not really a grain, but the seed of a gluten-free plant that can be substituted for whole grains in recipes. Registered dieticians Jennifer Nelson and Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic note that incorporating quinoa into a diet can be a good way to meet whole-grain recommendations while taking care not to aggravate conditions such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance. "Quinoa cooks in just 15 minutes. Use 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa," they advise.
Quinoa has benefits for those without gluten restrictions as well. For example, soon-to-be published research in the journal Food Chemistry indicates that the "pseudo-cereal" or "pseudo-grain" quinoa has higher concentrations of betaine than commonly available cereals such as wheat. Betaine is believed to be important because it remethylates homocysteine into methionine, although lowering blood levels of homocysteine has not yet been shown to reduce heart disease. Quinoa is also a rich source of antioxidants, and these antioxidants are more readily accessible to the body than those in wheat.
In addition to quinoa itself, Bob's Red Mill is also promoting sales of the book Quinoa Revolution, which is packed with 150 quinoa-based recipes. However, individuals seeking to diversify their grain (and pseudo-grain) intake can employ some simple substitutions, such as those recommended by autism advocate Susan Delaine in her book, The Autism Cookbook: use quinoa instead of wheat, barley, rice, and oat in any side dish; use quinoa flour instead of wheat flour in baking.