The Grain of the Incas: Quinoa


Some of you may have tried this wonderful wholegrain already, but if you have not yet, I encourage you to buy it soon.

Quinoa is easy to prepare. Simply rinse it and measure 1/2 cup of the grain for 3/4-1 cup of water and boil until tender but whole, about 15 minutes. Pour 3/4 cup of water first and the the rest to avoid ending up with overcooked quinoa.

This grain is the second in the list of most protein content. The first would be Amaranth. The Incas, the civilisation in the Andes 3000 BC, used quinoa in their daily diet. It is cultivated in highlands and its origins are around the Titikaka Lake in Bolivia and Peru. The mother of all grains, quinoa is very rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. Its delicacy and versatility in cooking are marvelous.

Nutritional Value of Quinoa (100 grams)

372 calories Proteins 11.49 grams Fat 4.86 grams Carbohydrates 71.2 grams Calcium 66 milligrams Iron 8.5 milligrams Vitamin A 1 gram Vitamin C 1 gram Thiamin 0.24 grams Riboflavin 0.23 grams Niacin 1.40 grams

Source: Bethzabe Iñiguez de Barrios. Mil Delicias de la Quinua. Oruro, Bolivia: (Editora Quelco, 1977), p. 29.

You may eat quinoa as a side dish and mixed it with baked vegetables such as peppers, onions and fennel. You may eat it warm or cold, in soups or stews.

It is an important part of your diet to add variety and also eat more proteins from grains rather than just animals. Quinoa can be found next to rice and barley in most supermarkets. You will definitely find it in the health food stores near you and you also order it online from food delivery companies such as Ocado. Some brands offer cooked quinoa and you could simply open the bag and put it in your plate on top of your favourite salad or soup.

Some baked dishes used cooked quinoa as the “bed” for vegetable stews on top and melted cheese on top. Nice for the winter months! Finally, you may try popped quinoa, which is a fun way to decorate fruit salads, yogurts, salads, desserts and more! Kids love it too! Give it a try!

Below please find some links to some healthy recipes with quinoa:

http://vegangela.com/tag/quinoa/

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1607/quinoa-rice-pilau-with-dill-and-roasted-tomatoes

Enjoy!

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