Heard of quinoa? Tried it before? Quinoa is one of those foods that many people have heard of, but few have tried! It is wonderfully versatile and I’d like to give you a quick run down and encourage you to use it…
Now the first thing I can tell you is that it is pronounced keen-wah! 🙂 Nothing worse than saying it wrong to some snotty health food shop lady, I’ve been there, it’s not fun.
Quinoa, from my knowledge and use, comes in three colours. The basic one you’ll find in the supermarket is the white one, but you can also get the nuttier flavoured brown and black varieties in bulk stores. For anything you use it for, any colour quinoa will do, I personally like to combine all three!
As for why it is good for you, quinoa is a very special seed because it is a seed that behaves like a grain but is much more nutritious! Quinoa is high in protein and contains all eight of the essential amino acids. In one cup of quinoa you will get 20% of the folate you need per day, 30% of magnesium, 15% of iron as well as a good dose of copper, manganese and fiber.
That’s a hell of a lot better than what you get out of wheat pasta or rice, let me tell you. Imagine if you replaced just a few of your carb favourites with quinoa, you’d really be doing your body a favour! This earthy seed is a great low g.i., easy-on-the-blood-sugar alternative to pasta and rice. It also, conveniently for me, works beautiful in sweets as it has a gentle, nutty flavour and a soft texture.
A question I often get is… “How do you cook it?!” Now, that’s easy to answer… just like rice and pasta! Put 2 cups of water to every 1 cup of dried quinoa in a saucepan. Put the stove on high until the water starts boiling and then drop it off to a simmer, with the lid on. It takes about 15 minutes to cook, give or take, and if it is cooked, but still watery, feel free to strain it. It will be soft and fluffy when it is ready, the black and brown varieties tend to take a little longer.
Once it is cooked, add your quinoa to salads, pasta sauce, serve it alongside curries, stews and roast vegies. The options are endless! You can cook it in milk with sultanas, goji berries, cinnamon and honey for a delicious morning porridge. I also love to spice it with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon to have with stewed apples.
The options with quinoa are endless!! What are your quinoa ideas? The best way to start cooking with quinoa is to have some in the cupboard for when you’re in the mood to try something new!