OH, HOW I LOVE QUINOA
I am not ashamed in the slightest to confess my love of this amazing and ever so versatile alternative grain (that isn't really a grain and has seeds!), quinoa. Years ago when I first discovered this ancient Inca grain not many people had heard of the name let alone knew how to pronounce it (keen-wa) nowadays a lot more people know of this great grain and I believe it will be one of those “new super foods” heavily marketed in mainstream media in the coming years. At least this will bring the price down somewhat as quinoa can be quite expensive in some areas. The best place to buy quinoa is at your local health food store in bulk if possible or in the health food section of your supermarket.
The quinoa grain comes from the Andes Mountains in South America and it was one of the staple foods of the Inca people along with corn and potatoes. Quinoa is a complete protein (contains all the essential amino acids) and has more protein than any other grain. It can be used in any recipe where rice would normally be used. Quinoa is a light grain that is digested easily and is quick and easy to cook. Cook as you would any other grains: 1 cup of the grain to two cups of water. Another easy way to cook quinoa is by using a thermos, add the grain and boiling water and leave overnight, the mixture will be ready for the morning when you rise.
Quinoa is available in the traditional white variety as well as in red and black. The white version is pretty easy to find, but you may have to search a bit of the red and black versions. There are other quinoa products such as the flour, flakes and pasta, as I said just so versatile. Quinoa looks amazing when it’s cooked, starts of white, red or black and as it’s cooked a white rim forms around the periphery of the grain that is just so beautiful. Cook two different versions together to get an even more amazing look for your dish.
See this great site to see pictures on how quinoa is cultivated and harvested. Some of these photos are just incredible.
information © Leigh-Chantelle & Viva la Vegan!
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