What is it?
Commonly thought of and cooked as a wholegrain, quinoa is a seed that was originally grown in South America centuries ago. More recently quinoa has become increasingly popular worldwide, due to being such a highly nutritious food source.
Our body requires nine essential amino acids to build muscle and body tissue. Quinoa is one of the few foods that contain all nine in the one food source. It is high in protein, iron and double the fiber of most grains to keep you regular. Packed full of other nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and other antioxidants. Being low in fat and calories as well as gluten and cholesterol free, makes it the perfect grain/ seed for basically anyone.
How should I use it?
Start by using quinoa in place of rice, couscous and other grains in salads, curry’s, soups and stews.
Quinoa is also available in different forms such as flour for baking biscuits, pancakes, muffins and breads etc. Quinoa flakes are a great breakfast porridge alternative, crumbing fish and dessert crumbles.
Where to find it?
Quinoa is pretty easy to find these days as it has become very popular. You can find it in the health food isle of Woolworths, any health food store, and most other gourmet shops and supermarkets.
White, red or black?
White quinoa is the easiest to find and I use it for everyday use. Black quinoa is harder to find and is said to have a more earthy kind of flavor, whereas red quinoa I find has more of a nutty flavor.
How to cook it?
To prepare quinoa make sure you rinse the grain well first to wash off its bitter coating. Bring 2 cups of water to boil and add 1 cup of quinoa. Reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 10-15 minutes, or until tender but still slightly crunchy.