The quinoa is very fast becoming well known as one of the healthiest grains available. Although technically it is a seed, not a grain, the fact that it is high in protein, fiber, and other important minerals means that it can replace grains like wheat or rice as a staple dietary food.
The Quinoa is native to the Andes mountains regions of South America and has been a valuable superfood since around 3000 BC. It’s said that the Incas referred to quinoa as “chisaya mama,” meaning “mother of all grains”. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has designated quinoa as a “super crop” due to the crop’s resilient ability to grow under all kinds of not-so-favorable conditions, and for its potential to feed the hungry across the world.
Here are some ways to enjoy the Quinoa:
· Combine cooked chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions and coriander. Season to taste and enjoy this south-of-the-border inspired salad.
· Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as breakfast porridge.
· For a twist on your favorite pasta recipe, use noodles made from quinoa.
· Sprouted quinoa can be used in salads and sandwiches just like alfalfa sprouts.
· Add quinoa to your favorite vegetable soups.
· Ground quinoa flour can be added to cookie or muffin recipes.
· Quinoa is great to use in tabouli, serving as a delicious (and wheat-free) substitute for the bulgur wheat with which this Middle Eastern dish is usually made.