- Created on Monday, 21 May 2012 22:39
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Over 5000 years ago the Incas cultivated the grain-like seed quinoa as one of their staple crops. Sacred to the Incas, quinoa was referred to by them as, ‘the mother of all grains’.
Researcher Philip White, in an obscure 1955 article on "Edible Seed Products of the Andes Mountains says,
"While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom."
While very few people may have read White's original article, in the last few years his words have been repeated on countless websites and in articles in newspapers and magazines, as quinoa has been rediscovered.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) looks like a grain, but it is actually a seed. You may be surprised to learn that it is related to the beets, chard and spinach family.
Quinoa is an ancient grain, often called a superfood for its’ tremendous health benefits.
Wheat free, dairy free, organic quinoa is a perfect food for anyone wanting to gain energy, create vibrant health and lose weight naturally.
Higher in amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than most other grains, quinoa makes a fabulous alternative to wheat-based grains. It is full of high quality protein, potassium, magnesium, iron, Vitamin B and fiber.
Easy to cook, versatile and cheap to buy, Quinoa is one of my favorite superfoods.
Here are 4 ways that I use quinoa in my life!
1. You can cook it – Quinoa tastes delicious and is very easy to cook. High in nutrients, quinoa is filled with sustenance, making it great under a steaming curry or dhal, and perfect when teamed with a dressed salad or hearty stew.
When cooked, quinoa is light, fluffy, slightly crunchy with a subtle-nutty taste. From beginning to end, you can cook quinoa in 15 minutes. Cook it just like couscous, pasta or rice, by covering it with water, until it boils then simmer it for 10-12 minutes. Once the grain is transparent, with a white tail, rinse it in water and then fluff the quinoa with a fork, just before serving.
2. You can drink it - Quinoa milk is dairy free, easy to digest and tastes delicious, either poured over cereal or used in smoothies, shakes, or even cakes and sweets. Quinoa milk adds a touch of creaminess, and is free of flavourings, colourings, preservatives, additives and any other chemical nasties you find in today’s milk from animals.
3. You can eat it raw – Quinoa soaked is delicious! Quinoa salad can be made by soaking and sprouting it and eaten as a dish in it’s own right or even I use it as a tasty sandwich filler!
It is very quick and easy to sprout, making it perfect, even for a beginner. Simply, soak quinoa for 8 hours and then sprout for 12 hours, rinsing 2-3 times, or as you remember! Once sprouted add in fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, seasonings, lemon juice, sea salt, olive oil, garlic and any other fresh vegetables.
4. You can make it into cereal - Quinoa flakes make a fabulous breakfast oatmeal, Bircher muesli or toasted muesli. Mix in cinnamon, seeds such as linseeds, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds and other goodies you have in your cupboards.
My favorites are goji berries, fresh berries, bananas, coconut and carob. This is great with almond milk, coconut milk or (fresh) apple juice. Any of these breakfast ideas would give you a nutritious, delicious and gluten-free boost to your day.
If you haven’t tried Quinoa yet, I highly recommend you try it today!
So there you have it.
Quinoa in any of its different form does make a perfect health food; enjoy it anytime of the day. Delicious, easy to cook, and healthy to digest, quinoa can form the basis for a healthy approach to food and living.
In my book, ‘Losing Weight is a Healing Journey’ I recommend eating real foods, including whole grains such as quinoa.
For recipe ideas that will help you gain energy, lose weight naturally and transform your own health, using delicious, healthy foods such as quinoa, please check out my Recipe ebook, ‘Katrina’s Kitchen: 50 Fast & Fabulous Recipes’.