Quinoa (Keen-wah) is part of the beet and spinach family, is indigenous to South America. Many people consider Quinoa a grain but it is a seed; although it is called "The Super grain" which contains all of the amino acids required by the body. This plant readily grows in the high valleys of the Andes mountain range, which extend from Peru to Chile and Argentina. Quinoa was used by the Incas to supplement the nutritionally poor potato and the maize which didn't grow very well with the high altitude and short growing period.
Quinoa is a small seed that is 1.5 to 2 mm in diameter, and is disk shaped
with a flattened or depressed equatorial band which surrounds it. It is
usually a pale yellow, but can also be found in colors that range from
white to pink, even orange, it can also be found in red to a purple black
color. which is known as black quinoa. Quinoa is not a true cereal grain.
but is technically a fruit of the Chenopodium family. Chenopodium plants
have characteristic leaves, shaped like a goose's foot, similar to that of
the gooseberry leaf. The leaves which seldom reach market here in the
United States are very rich in Vitamin A and may be eaten raw as a salad
green or cooked like spinach.