There are always things you discover and ask yourself how you never tried them sooner. That’s how I felt when I found out there’s a tiny little grain what would twist my future recipes into fun, delicious and extremely nutritious meals. Yes, I love quinoa.
Although it seems that this cheeky grain is part of the current trend of superfoods discovery, quinoa is actually old news as it was first known to the Andean peoples around 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. The Incas used to call quinoa chisaya mama (mother of all grains).
But why should we choose quinoa? Here’s my top 5 reasons behind my endless love for this tiny grain.
1. Quinoa is a complete proteinUnlike wheat or rice, quinoa is indeed a complete protein containing all eight of the essential amino acids. The United Nations researchers have classified it as a supercrop for its health benefits as it is packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron.
2. Rich source of vitamins Quinoa is a rich source of the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and folate, but also a good source of the B vitamins niacin and pantothenic acid, vitamin E and the dietary mineral potassium.
3. It’s gluten free Quinoa is considered to be a pseudo cereal containing a modest amount of calcium and thus being useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Being gluten-free quinoa is considered easy to digest. Because of these characteristics, it is being considered a possible crop in NASA‘s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied space flights.
4. It’s one of the best things for your child’s diet I’m sure all mums know the rule about how you have to put something new in front of the child ten times before they try it? Well, I’d say you try this and then let me know the outcome. My toddler eats quinoa like crazy, especially the popped quinoa treats (secret recipes to follow) which can successfully replace the refined sugars of dangerous sweets.
5. It’s easy to prepare Quinoa is so easy to prepare and its fluffy texture and slightly nutty flavour make it a great alternative to white rice or couscous. When this is cooked, its grains quadruple in size and become almost translucent.
The way I use quinoa:
- popped quinoa: in treats for sugar tooth fairies
- add it to most of my salads
- in vegetable and meat stews
- In barbecue treats such as quinoa burgers
- in bread making with other seeds
- mixed with overnight oats for breakfast
Watch this space, quinoa fun recipes will soon follow! In the meantime, are you a fan of quinoa? If so, share with us your favourite reason and recipe tips.