Quinoa is a delicious and nutritional replacement for regular grains, consumed by most people across the world. It is especially important for those who cannot eat grains because of serious allergies or others who choose to add a healthier food into their diet.
Quinoa is an ancient seed like-grain that grows high in the Andes Mountains of Chile, Bolivia and Peru. It was the main staple for the ancient Incans, cultivated for well over five thousand years. In fact, it was so highly revered for its goodness by the Incans that they coined the word, which when translated means ‘mother grain’. It was used to make beer, washing detergent and a topical type of antiseptic.
In recent years, it has become popular across the world, replacing regular grains with a delicious, nutty flavoured and healthier alternative. In fact, it can be found in many organic stores, organic sections of major grocery chains and online alternative food websites. However, only three varieties are consumable, coming in colors that range from white and red to black.
Quinoa is high in calcium, B vitamins, vitamin E, phosphorus and iron. Though it is higher in fat than other grains, it is hailed as one of the best sources of plant proteins and one of the few to be a complete protein that can replace meat. In fact, it contains high levels of the most important amino acids required for a healthy body. Best of all, it is completely gluten free, making it a healthy alternative for wheat/grain/gluten allergy and Celiac disease sufferers.
Quinoa can be used in recipes from across the world. It is prepared very much like rice with one part quinoa to two parts water. Generally ½ a cup of quinoa cooked with 1 cup of water provides a single serving addition to any meal. Best of all any ingredients and flavors can be added according to one’s personal taste. Cooking can be done in a rice cooker or simply boiled in a saucepan and then steamed until the grains are fully cooked, but not mushy.
Here is a quinoa recipe that is sure to delight anyone, young or old: Italian Tomato, Baby Spinach and Chickpea Quinoa Risotto
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