Saturday 27 November 2010


The Quietly-talented Organic Quinoa Porridge/Økologisk Quinua Grød/有机藜谷粥[yǒu jī lí gǔ zhōu]

Can be eaten from 4 months, though I prefer to start baby on solid food at 6 months)

1. Soak 3 tablespoons of quinoa in a cup of water for 15 - 30 mins (or if you can, overnight) and rinse well before cooking (You can eat quinoa safely without presoaking it, but soaking helps to loosen up the outer coating of saponin, which can give a bitter taste if not removed).

2. Place a fresh 1.5 cup of water on the stove to boil.

3. While water is heating, grind quinoa for 2 minutes or less.

4. Pour ground quinoa into the pot, stir until boil and then let it sit over low heat for 10 minutes. (Whisk frequently to prevent burning and lumps).

5. Add 3 teaspoons of olive oil and 3 teaspoons of formula milk powder (optional).

OR for older babies:

After soaking 1 cup of quinoa overnight, rinse well. Then add 2 cups of water and cook in automatic rice cooker and serve :-). Freeze the rest (make 1 ice cube tray).

1. Cool down, pour into ice cube tray and freeze.

2. Once frozen, knock the cubes out and store them in freezer bags (makes 2 ice cube trays, can store up to 8 weeks)

Mixed with 1/2 mashed banana, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon flaxseed or brewer's yeast and serve it as breakfast :-)

Tips for Adults:
1. Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as breakfast porridge.

2. Sprouted quinoa can be used in salads and sandwiches just like alfalfa sprouts.

3. Add quinoa to your favorite vegetable soups.

4. Ground quinoa flour can be added to cookie or muffin recipes.

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

6. Serve quinoa as an alternative to rice or potatoes.

IMPT Note:
1. Quinoa has high oil content, so should be stored in the fridge or freezer to avoid becoming rancid.

2. A tight fitting lid is essential for even cooking

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.

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.

Quinoa is gluten-free and therefore like rice, it is not likely to cause allergy. For those who insist on starting solids with baby at 4 months instead of 6 months, quinoa is a super healthy whole grain cereal for baby, and can be used instead of those commercial processed cereal rice as baby first food (for those who is not keen on using avocado as first food, which is my choice).

If the baby gets tired of brown rice, and potatoes, why not give baby quinoa for a change. It is more nutritious than brown rice.

Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

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