Quinoa is an ancient edible seed closely related to beets that were originally cultivated by the Inca in the Andes. It's small, round, and either light-tan, red, purple, or black. Quinoa has a large amount of nutritionally high-quality protein compared to the cereals and most other edible seeds. It contains an excellent balance of amino acids which means it's nearly a complete protein. Compared to all cereal grains and most other seeds, quinoa has more iron and potassium.