Quinoa is often refered to as a ‘superfood’ and it isn’t hard to see why. 1 cup of cooked quinoa will give you 8 grams of protein and a host of minerals and other micro-nutrients. See here for a breakdown of its nutritional profile. It is also delcious and could be grown much more widely than its current stronghold in northern South America. For all these reasons this year has been named ‘international year of quinoa’ by whoever decides such matters.
There has been some concern expressed that current high demand in wealthy countries is pushing up prices and this is certainly a concern in the short term. In the next few years though the market should respond by increasing supply and we will see prices returning to normal.
So what can we do with this delicious seed? Boil it mainly. One cup of quinoa needs to be cooked in 1 1/2 cups of water for about 20 minutes. So far I admit it doesn’t sound too exciting but you can then do just about anything with it. I like to add it to salads like this or added to chilli while it is cooking like this. You could also cook it in soups or stews to give it a bit more of a nutritional kick. It can also be ground into flour and added to bread but as it is gluten free you will probably want to do this in small doses.
How do you like your quinoa and what other grains are we missing out on?
- Quinoa Health Benefits (pamelaatoche.wordpress.com)
- A-Z of unusual ingredients: quinoa (telegraph.co.uk)
- Quinoa and Kidney Bean Burgers (omgirlsguide.com)