The new old health food
Quinoa was originally cultivated approximately four thousand years ago in the South American countries of Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. There is anthropological evidence that would indicate that wild varieties of quinoa were consumed as long as seven thousand years ago.
Quinoa has, in recent years, drawn significant interest from those participating in high protein diets, gluten free diets or simply folks just wanting to eat better without the risks we all read about from other types of grains. Quinoa is a whole food, has not found to be genetically modified and is a remarkably complete and delicious grain that you will find to be a delightful addition to any meal or a replacement for other grains in your favorite recipes.
Quinoa is a balanced and complete protein source, with all eight of the necessary amino acids for building protein. It is the only grain like it on the planet.
There are so many great things about quinoa, once you’ve educated yourself about it and tasted it, you’ll likely wonder why you didn’t know about this ancient super food sooner. Quinoa is dense in a wide variety of nutrients. High in fiber, high in protein and high in minerals, it also contains an essential fatty acid known for supporting the immune system.
Since many folks are finding themselves sensitive to wheat gluten or challenged with celiac disease, quinoa call fill the void once occupied by wheat. It is completely gluten free. Furthermore, no quinoa found on the shelves of North American supermarkets is genetically modified. Science is just now discovering the true nature of GMOs and it is expected that more will be revealed as studies and research is concluded.
Where to get it…
Quinoa is available in just about every single major supermarket in North America. You will find it in the same section as rice, but shelved with things like barley and millet and risotto. There are a number of different varieties and colors as well as flours and seeds. The options for purchasing the different quinoa based food products via mail order are practically unlimited. A simple search at Amazon will give you a wide variety of choices from which to choose.
OK… You’re ready to try… Some things to know
Occasionally, you may notice some bitterness in the quinoa after cooking. To avoid this, be sure to rinse your grains really well before cooking. There is an element to this grain called saponin and this is what can cause the bitterness you may be experiencing.
Quinoa is also lovely as a sprouted grain, dense in nutrients. A simple Google search can provide you with all the information you will ever need about sprouting and eating this ancient super food.
You may find that, one day, you have a pot of somewhat overcooked quinoa. Can you do anything with this? As with rice, there are a number of things that can be done with super-fluffy, overcooked quinoa. Add it to smoothies, scrambled eggs, puddings and a variety of batters.
Those who participate in Once a Month Cooking know that it’s super easy to make up a big batch of quinoa and freeze in it meal size portions. It is recommended that you use whatever you freeze within 30 days.
If you own a rice cooker, be sure to use it for preparing your quinoa. Quinoa increase in volume by about three times when cooked. Rice generally doubles. Be sure to allow plenty of room for expansion in your cooker.
If you are a vegetarian or on some other specialized diet (with the exception of the popular grain-free Paleo diet), you will unquestionably benefit from consuming quinoa. Quinoa is easy on the digestive system, offers a probiotic quality beneficial to intestinal health and ultimately adaptable to a wide variety of recipes. In addition, quinoa – a complex carbohydrate – will contribute to a stable energy source, does not cause insulin spikes, and is very low on the Glycemic index. Even folks enjoying a raw food based diet can enjoy the benefits of quinoa. Raw food aficionados will delight in either raw cracked or sprouted quinoa.
Because quinoa is a complete super food. Many grain based produced boast that they are “fortified” or “enriched”. Complete foods are COMPLETE foods; they don’t need any additions to make them better or more nutritionally sound. Quinoa requires no additional fortification; it is a wholly complete food, nutrient-rich and bearing the building blocks of complete protein.
Quinoa, an ancient super food, was originally cultivated in the South American countries. Still today, the lion’s share of quinoa marketed in North America is grown in the countries of origin. There are a number of commercial growers in North America who are successful in producing quinoa for the American and Canadian markets. Quinoa has been a significant part of the South American diet since at least the 1400s.