Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is becoming increasingly popular these days with more and more people going gluten free. But what exactly is it and what nutritional benefits does it have?
Originating from South America, Quinoa dates back to 4000 years ago where the Incas first realised it was fit for human consumption. Known as a puesdo-grain (a grain like seed), the Incas held it sacred and referred to it as “the mother of all grains” believing that it increased the stamina of their warriors.
Quinoa is a complete protein, providing a whopping 14 g per 100g plus a full spectrum of the nine essential amino acids required to support human life. For this reason, quinoa is popular among vegans and vegetarians and is a great food source for those wanting to decrease the amount of animal protein in their diets. Along with being completely gluten free, quinoa is a fantastic source of dietary fibre and magnesium – important to support healthy bowel functioning, blood sugar control and energy production. Additionally, quinoa provides a source of manganese and copper which help to support a healthy immune system and protect red blood cells.
Quinoa can be substituted for any grain in nearly any recipe. It is usually cooked and eaten like cous cous or rice and is available in white, red and black seeds and can also be purchased as flour, flakes or cereal.
Here are my top tips on how to eat and enjoy quinoa:
1. Cook and use to make a roast vegetable salad. Click here to see the recipe!
2. Eat as a breakfast porridge. Add some dried fruit, nuts and seeds and you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast to last you until lunchtime!
3. Use Quinoa flour in biscuit or muffin recipes for a gluten free option.
4. Use instead of rice or barley in stir fries and soups.
Quinoa is now becoming more of a mainstream food source, not only due to it’s many health benefits but largely due to an increasing number of people with gluten intolerance or Coeliacs disease. It can be found in most health food stores, some supermarkets, and also be purchased online.
Where to Buy:
Huckleberry Farms (online or in-store) – You will also find Quinoa flakes, flour and cereal here!