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Archive for May 14th, 2012

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been...

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been eaten for 6000 years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new grain has found favor among food aficionados. Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, actually isn’t new nor is it a grain. Harvested in South America for thousands of years, the Incas referred to it as the “mother of all grains.”

Technically, it is the seed of the goosefoot plant, in the same family as spinach, with leaves shaped like a goose foot.

Quinoa ranges in color from yellow or white to dark brown. Use it in place of rice in casseroles or as a side dish. The nutty flavor blends well with cinnamon or nutmeg along with brown sugar or maple syrup for a tasty breakfast.

I tried the white quinoa. After a good rinse, I soaked overnight (although unncessary), rinsed again, then cooked it the same as regular rice—one part quinoa to two parts water. Like rice, I brought the water to a boil, added the seeds, and cooked about 20 minutes.

The protein content of quinoa is almost twice that of corn or rice. Other nutritional attributes include high fiber, B-vitamins, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and other minerals. Additionally, it is gluten-free.

The unwashed product has a coating called saponin which has a bitter taste and can result in digestive problems. Rinse thoroughly to remove. Although available prewashed, consider another rinse.

Check your grocery shelves for this new “ancient” cereal. Find tasty recipes at these sites and others.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/quinoa/index.html

http://www.quinoa.com/recipes

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