Quinoa is an ancient, non-hybridized seed that is not technically a grain but is used as one. It comes closer than any other vegetable or animal food to supplying all life-sustaining nutrients. Offering more than 45% more protein than other grains, it has a nearly perfect balance of amino acids. It is rich in fiber, unsaturated fat, iron, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins E and B. It takes only 15 minutes to cook a light, fluffy, nutty flavoured dish, great on its own or as an ingredient in casseroles, stuffing, desserts (pudding etc), tabouli etc. As a flour it is light, nutritious and flavourful.
Native to the high valleys of the Andes, Quinoa flourishes under such extreme ecological conditions as high altitude, thin cold air, hot sun, drought, frost, poor soil and even radiation. It has a natural bitter saponin coating which protects it from birds and insects. If not pre-cleaned it needs to be well-washed of this coating. Quinoa is available Canadian-grown and organic.
Nutritional Content of 100g quinoa, uncooked:
BASIC RECIPE FOR COOKING QUINOA:
-rinse thoroughly for about 3 minutes
-combine 1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups water or broth
-cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes till all water is absorbed
-season the same as other grains and serve with salad or a vegetable side dish
-this grain can be toasted, giving it a full-bodied rich flavour
QUINOA AS FLOUR:
-to make 1 cup of flour, place 3/4 cup quinoa in a blender and pulverize for
several minutes (this grain is much softer than wheat or corn)
-quinoa flour is lighter than other whole grain flours and offers more nutrition
-quinoa flour is gluten free, so it is best to combine it with wheat or spelt flour
Posted on: December 11th, 2004