07/02/2012 08:07 am ET Updated Sep 12, 2012

Quinoa: Everything You Need To Know

We were sure that by this point, everybody knew what quinoa was. You can find it in most grocery stores and it has been written about again and again. But when we saw that The Bachelorette and her two contestants were not familiar with this popular ingredient, we realized that there might still people out there who are unaware of this amazing and cheap source of protein. (Because it's a great source of protein, not "fiber" as the one contestant wrongly claims.)

And while we're aware that the people on The Bachlorette may not be the best measure for the knowledge of the general public, we still thought it was safer to give a quick overview. So here it is, everything you should know about quinoa:
  • For starters, it's pronounced KEEN-wah. (If phonetic spelling doesn't really help you out, check out this video for a tutorial.)
  • It's light and fluffy when cooked, with a slightly nutty flavor.
  • There are three common types: white, red and black.
  • It's an excellent source of protein. And unlike most grains, it's a complete protein source.
  • It takes only 15 minutes to cook. A short cooking time compared to healthy grains like brown rice, farro and barley.
  • If you made quinoa and it tasted terrible, you probably didn't clean it properly. The only downside to quinoa is that you really have to rinse it thoroughly, and multiple times. Of course you can bypass this by buying already-rinsed quinoa.
  • You can use it to replace rice in many dishes. Though it's also good in salads and incorporated into foods such as meatloaf and veggie burgers. You can also eat it for breakfast.
  • Quinoa originated from Peru. The Incas referred to it as the mother of all grains.