Thursday, August 26, 2010

Food Review: Quinoa

Okay, this is not necessarily a food review but this is more of a 'what is Quinoa'.  However, I do love eating Quinoa.  I tried the Red Quinoa and it wasn't doing nothing but making my tastebuds yearn for mouthwash.  I didn't like it.  But the regular (white) Quinoa is really good.  I cook mine with plain water or chicken broth/stock.  Sometimes I buy the Trader Joe's Brand Fire Roasted Peppers & Onions and stick 1/4 cup in the boiling water to flavor and cook with the Quinoa.  Excellent!

From Winkipedia (6/16/10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa )
Quinoa (pronounced /ˈkiːnoʊ.ə/ or /kwɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.

Nutritional value
Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.[4] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.[4]

Preperation
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.

Vegetables and seasonings can also be added to make a wide range of dishes. Chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted for water during cooking, adding flavor. It is also suited to vegetable pilafs, complementing bitter greens like kale.


Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries; it is also sold as a dry product, much like corn flakes.

Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-based and gluten-free baking. For the latter, it can be combined with sorghum flour, tapioca, and potato starch to create a nutritious gluten-free baking mix. A suggested mix is three parts quinoa flour, three parts sorghum flour, two parts potato starch, and one part tapioca starch. Quinoa flour can be used as a filling for chocolate.

Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.[6] In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout and release gases, as opposed to, e.g., 12 hours overnight with wheat. This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the grains, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.

1 comment:

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