What exactly is quinoa?
Let’s clear something up – it’s pronounced “keen-wah,” and this protein-packed grain contains every amino acid available. It is particularly rich in lysine, which promotes healthy tissue growth throughout the body.
Where does it come from?
Strictly speaking, quinoa is in fact a seed and not a grain. It’s derived from South America and can be ground down into a our form. The Incas thought of quinoa as the ‘mother of all grains’, and history of quinoa dates back almost 3000-4000 years ago. When the Spanish conquered Central & South America they forbade the cultivation of the seed which almost saw it become ‘extinct’.
Qunioa comes from a species of the goosefoot plant and can range from purple, green or red.
We’ve gone quinoa mad!
Quinoa has taken the health food market by storm recently, with quinoa porridge and quinoa based smoothie bowls taking center stage on instagram. But why is this powerful seed so popular? Well, it’s partly down to the fact it is gluten free and most other grains contain gluten.
It’s also protein rich and with the recent focus on which types of protein are good for us. Quinoa has taken centre stage.
It’s not surprising that quinoa supports good health, as it’s one of the only plant foods that’s a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Not only is the protein complete, but quinoa grains have an usually high ratio of protein to carbohydrate, since the germ makes up about 60% of the grain.
Making, baking and eating it.
Cooking with quinoa can take a bit of getting used to. The last thing you want is a soggy bowl of mush. For perfectly uffy quinoa, use twice as much water as quinoa, then cook, uncovered, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water.
The low down on quinoa.
It really is a super seed. When it’s in the our form it is the ideal ingredient to cook with. It works beautifully in any type of bread recipe as the main ingredient in muf ns or cakes and also as a porridge. Include quinoa in your diet for an all round boost of protein and ber.
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Fiber: 5 grams. Manganese: 58% of the RDA. Magnesium: 30% of the RDA. Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA. Folate: 19% of the RDA.
- Copper: 18% of the RDA.
- Iron: 15% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA. Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
- 10% RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
Quinoa porridge with pecan nuts
• 1 cup quinoa
• 2 cups coconut water
• 2 medjool dates
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Rinse quinoa well. Chop medjool dates and add to quinoa with cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Add coconut water. Bring to the boil and simmer until quinoa absorbs coconut water and is tender. Grill bananas on a grill pan (you can also use a normal pan). Top with grilled banana, chopped pecans and coconut milk.