All About Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced Kin-Wa) it’s everywhere! From from breads to baby food Quinoa has become increasingly popular in recent times. One of the reasons could be due to the fact that so many of us are now turning to healthier, vegetarian and vegan based diets and Quinoa provides us with a fantastic source of vegan protein.
History Of Quinoa
Quinoa is a native, ancient seed (although it is often labelled as a grain, botanically it is actually a seed) from a plant found in the Andean Mountain region. It’s history dates back over 5000 years. Although it has been a staple part of the South American Indians diet for a very long time, in the Western World it is a welcome newcomer and of great health benefit to our less than healthy, highly processed diets.
Quinoa’s Nutrients, Vitamins and Health Properties
The reason it is has earned the title of being a Super-food, is due to it being a vegetarian food source that has the highest, complete, protein level of any grain, (a complete protein is a protein that contains all the essential amino acids) making it an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and Quinoa is also gluten free.
- Quinoa also has a high level of lysine, an important amino acid needed by our bodies for tissue growth and repair.
- Quinoa has the highest levels of iron of any other grains.
- Quinoa a good source of manganese, zinc, some B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and B6, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus.
- Because of it’s content, many health professionals consider Quinoa to be of health benefits for people with conditions such as Diabetes, Migraines, Atherosclerosis and Heart Disease.
- Quinoa is also an alkaline grain, high in fiber and gluten free. The carbohydrates in Quinoa are slow releasing, so they keep you feeling full for longer.
Types Of Quinoa
Quinoa Grain comes in 3 colours, white, black and red, but there is very little nutritional difference between the three, so it really is a matter of preference.
You are also able to buy organic Quinoa Flakes , Quinoa Flour, Puffed Quinoa and Quinoa Milk.
Both Quinoa Flakes and Quinoa Flour are great additions to gluten-free baking and cereal recipes.
Quinoa’s Saponin Coating
Quinoa Seeds have a bitter Saponin coating that should be washed off thoroughly before cooking. If your water is still running through your strainer with soapy bubbles then this means you still have a fair amount of rinsing to do, as there is still a decent amount of Saponin on the seeds.
Quinoa is extremely versatile but knowing how to cook it correctly can make a big difference to the texture. You want it nice and fluffy and not mushy.
To prepare Quinoa grain see my article
*Extra information – here is a link the nutritional data of 1 cup of cooked quinoa http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2
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