Thursday, 14 October 2010

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Organic quinoa/Økologisk quinua/有机藜谷[yǒu jī lí gǔ]


Here is a quick and easy recipe from my colleague from Agentina, where people eat lots of quinoa:

Directions:
1. Wash, rinse and boil 1 part quinoa with 2 parts water under medium heat (no. 7.5 on my stove) for 10-12 minutes without cover (don't even need to stir).

2. Switch off fire, cover and let it stand for 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle salt according to taste and flaxseeds (optional) and serve

Tips:
1. Serve quinoa as an alternative to rice or potatoes.

2. Combine cooked chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions and coriander, season to taste and enjoy it as a salad.

3. Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as breakfast porridge.

Nutritional value:
Quinoa is a highly nutritious food. Quinoa has been rated by the WHO as possessing protein of a quality similar to milk. It has been classified as a supercrop by the United Nations on account of its nutritional value and high protein content. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. The protein quality and quantity in quinoa seed is often superior to those of more common cereal grains. Quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat. Quinoa grain has a lower sodium content and is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Quinoa is a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, two minerals that serve as cofactors for the superoxide dismutase enzyme. Superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant that helps to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage created during energy production as well as guard other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals.

Quinoa also contains vitamins B6, Niacin and Thiamin. Quinoa is lower in carbohydrates than most other grains, but an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and cooks in about half the time of regular rice. Quinoa is low in fat.

Quinoa is gluten-free, suitable for people allergic to gluten.

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Additional information:
Quinoa or quinua (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. This crop (pronounced KEEN-WAH), has been called 41 vegetable caviar" or Inca rice, and has been eaten continuously for 5,000 years by people who live on the mountain plateaus and in the valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile. Quinua means "mother grain" in the Inca language. This crop was a staple food of the Inca people and remains an important food crop for their descendants, the Quechua and Aymara peoples who live in rural regions.

Quinoa is a pointed oval and flat sead. It is found in pale yellow, red or even brown colors. Quinoa is unpalatable in its natural taste. It imparts a bitter taste on account of saponins. This helps the crop remain relatively safe from birds. You can remove the saponins by soaking the quinoa seeds in water and rinsing it out a few times.

The red quinoa is slightly sweeter and crunchier than the golden quinoa.

References:
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-quinoa-flour.htm

http://teaandcookies.blogspot.com/2007/06/red-quinoa-salad-i-was-wrong.html

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/soupssalads/r/quinoasalad.htm

http://www.targetwoman.com/articles/quinoa.html

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