I’m sure by now you all have heard of quinoa (keen-wa). It is that little grain/seed that everyone in the health world seems to fawn over. Quinoa does indeed deserve a lot of praise. It is a grain-like crop harvested for its seeds. Did you know you can even eat quinoa greens? You can, but they are very difficult to find commercially. For now let’s stick to learning more about quinoa seeds. In ancient Peruvian times it coined its funny name, which means “mother of all grains”. It provided a great deal of nutrition to these people and has now resurged amongst the healthy crowds of North America.
½ c of quinoa contains half of your recommended folate (B9), magnesium and phosphorus and a third of your thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), B6, iron, and zinc. Wow! That is impressive. Better yet, it also contains 14g of complete protein, meaning all of the essential amino acids are present. This is a rare find in plant form.
Best of all, quinoa is gluten-free. No wonder it is so popular.
Quinoa is best-prepared like rice or couscous. But one extremely important tip is to remove the saponin coating on the quinoa before using. To do this, strain quinoa under cool water for a few minutes until all of the bubbles disappear. Now you are ready for cooking. Do 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until all of the water has absorbed. Now you are ready to use quinoa in whatever way you would like – as a breakfast food, in quinoa cakes, as a side dish, or as a main.
- 1 cup / 240 ml quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 4 or 5 dates, chopped
- 2 cups / 480 ml no-sugar-added grape juice
- ½ cup / 120 ml raisins
- Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa grains are cooked.
- Serve hot or cold.