Quinoa, also known as Inca Wheat, and the Mother of All Grains, has been cultivated by man for over 5,000 years. It is an ancient grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Yet it is not a true cereal, being a more closely related to beetroot than bran.
The Incas considered Quinoa to be a sacred food, referring to it as ‘chisaya mama’ (the mother grain) because it grew it high up in the Andes. They even brewed beer from it called ‘chicha’ which they drank to celebrate the harvest.
Nutritional Benefits – Packed with protein: more than brown rice, potatoes, and barley. – Complete protein source: 9 amino acids, high in lysine and isoleucine. – High in dietary fibre, with twice as much as many other grains and prebiotic properties. – Packed with antioxidants, concentrated amounts of flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol. – Significantly high in B vitamins: B1, B2, B3 and B9. – Good Source of Omega 3 fatty acids – oleic and alpha-linolenic acid. – Good Source of selenium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, folate, and zinc. – Significant amounts of vitamin E tocopherol family compounds, largely absent from most grains. – Quinoa expands when ingested; making you feel fuller therefore can help with weight management.
How to use Quinoa has a slightly nutty taste similar to wild rice, making it easy to add to recipes. It can be added to smoothies and fruit juices, mixed into soups and stews, or sprinkled on hot or cold cereals.