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Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and a nutty flavor when cooked. It is available in most local health food stores year round.

Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."

In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthful choice for vegetarians and vegans.
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