Chipotle aims to health-ify its menu with an ancient-grain alternative to rice


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Photo: Instagram/@chipotlemexicangrill

Despite the setbacks Mexican fast-food favorite Chipotle has navigated in the past few years—including several reports of food-safety issues and resulting stock-value drops as recently as this past December—the burrito giant is taking steps to inch into healthy customers’ good graces. At its test kitchen in New York City, the chain is testing a ancient-grain alternative to rice: quinoa.

“The quinoa is made with red and gold quinoa tossed with a little citrus juice, cumin, and freshly chopped cilantro,” Chipotle rep Chris Arnold told Business Insider. “We are recommending that added to a salad or in place of rice in another entrée.”

“The quinoa is made with red and gold quinoa tossed with a little citrus juice, cumin, and freshly chopped cilantro. We’re recommending that added to a salad or in place of rice in another entrée.” —Chris Arnold, Chipotle rep

Obviously this is exciting news on the health front: Quinoa is jam-packed with protein and an impressive list of nutritional benefits, like amino acids and vitamins. Plus, it’s gluten-free. There’s no word on if or when the grain will officially debut at Chipotle outposts nationwide, but it seems like the company—which is no stranger to healthy updates, like revamping its tortillas to make the rounds free of preservatives—is saying there’s at least a solid chance.

If you’re in Manhattan, head over to the test kitchen—AKA Chipotle NEXT Kitchen in Chelsea—to try out the innovation, which is almost guaranteed to be a healthy fast-food-ordering hack that’s celeb-approved.

Learn how to health-ify your Chipotle order, straight from a nutritionist. Or, take a look at these other healthy changes coming to the fast food industry

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