Is All Quinoa Created Equal?

Well… almost?  Quinoa’s popularity has been on a rise and I now see shelves full of this stuff in Whole Foods, for example, and other markets in the my area.  But what has been really puzzling to me are the price ranges – I think I actually found a 12oz box for $12 (unless this Quinoa holds the key to all life’s problems, I’ll stick with the cheaper variety, thank you).  So I found a generic brand for about $4 and took it home.  Then the other day I was out shopping again and was really drawn to a box of red, “heirloom variety” / pasankalla quinoa.  With a price point of $6 for 12oz Vs. the generic bag that I bought of 16oz, the heirloom variety is 50% more expensive then the generic.  This got me thinking… if quinoa is quinoa is quinoa, then what gives?

So naturally I looked at the nutritional content of the 2 when I got home, and saw that in fact there are some differences between the two.  The quinoa on the left is the “value brand” one, the one on the right is the pasankalla / heirloom variety.  See if you can notice any differences (other then color – but I do find the red more “sexy” & fun, haha):

From first glance, I was immediately drawn to the differences in the calorie, carbohydrate and fiber content.  The value brand seems to have less cals., sugars and carbs… but also less fiber.  Then I looked again and realized that the grams per serving were different, so I did a little math and came up with the following comparison table:

So my conclusion?  Please read the labels when you’re shopping.  As a whole we don’t get nearly as much fiber in our diets as we should, so you always want to maximize your fiber intake.  But if the price point is much too high to swallow for a little extra fiber, then go for the regular stuff.  You’ll still receive the health benefits of eating quinoa (which I go into during my Health Coaching sessions) even in a value brand.  So crunch away!

 

Edible Gluten Free Bread – is it the Holy Grail?

Sometimes, all a client really wants is a sandwich.  A quick and easy,
throw it together, good old fashioned – sandwich.  But for the clients
that cannot tolerate gluten, or have a wheat allergy, sometimes that
leaves them with the fixin’s since bread is out of the question.  If I
mention Gluten Free bread, a grossed out look or scrunched nose is
usually the response that I get.  After trying this so called “bread”
myself, I certainly can’t blame them – you might as well spread
mustard on cardboard.
Anyway, I decided to give GF Bread another chance – maybe I’ll be
pleasantly surprised… maybe.  So last night I picked up a loaf of
Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free San Juan 7-Grain bread at Whole Foods.
What can I say, it’s actually not bad!  It’s a little drier then
regular bread, it doesn’t “toast” the same, it’s got a sweetness I’m
not used to from regular bread – almost like a challah sweetness (from
the agave syrup I assume) and it’s not cheap (I paid 6.99), but I would
definitely use it again.
See example below, this is my “Veggieterranean” sandwich – open faced:
– slice of bread
– smear of Hummus
– sprinkle of Feta
– topped with alfalfa sprouts & tomato slices
– dusted with a little bit of salt & love
(I like to also eat this one with olives :)

**This find was good, but not amazing – so I will continue my quest.
If you found a GF bread that you really like – please share!