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Quinoa has claimed a new place in the nutrition world's spotlight in the past decade, but this whole grain (which is technically a seed) is actually not new at all. In fact, quinoa has been cultivated for about 5,000 years and is native to South America.

The earliest growers and harvesters of quinoa were certainly onto something back then, as this powerhouse seed is packed with nutrients, easy to prepare and versatile in the kitchen. With the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommending that Americans make half of our grains whole grains–that equates to three to five or more servings of whole grains per day–jumping on the quinoa bandwagon is a fantastic way to reach this goal.