Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quinoa- Super food of the Incas!

Quinoa (pronounced kin-wa) is a protein rich seed which has a slightly nutty flavour and a fluffy but slightly crunchy texture when cooked. Although commonly considered a grain it is actually a relative of green leafy vegetables such as spinach.

In the days of the Inca empire, Quinoa was an important part of the diet as it was believed to give warriors strength and stamina.

Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids and is particularly high in Lysine (great for healthy immune systems and tissue healing) Manganese, Magnesium, iron and phosphorus. It is high in anti oxidants and is a good source of fibre.

Quinoa can be found in health food stores (including Evelyn Faye Nutrition) in the form of the raw seed, flakes or flour. There are two varieties- red and white and this super little seed can be prepared in a number of different ways. Below are some ideas...

Quinoa Cookies:
1/2 cup of Agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup of almond butter
1/3 cup of raw sugar
125g melted butter
1 cup of rice or regular flour
3/4 cup of Quinoa flakes
3/4 tsp baking soda
1.4 tsp Salt
1 cup of dark chocolate bits
2tsp ground cinnamon
3tsp cocoa powder

  • Pre heat oven to 150C and Oil a baking tray or line with baking powder
  • Beat together first 5 ingredients until creamy
  • Combine all remaining ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture
  • Drop teaspoon sized pieces onto the tray and allow space for spreading
  • Bake for 10-12 min then allow to cool on the tray before lifting.

Quinoa Moroccan Pilaf:

  1. 1 cup Quinoa seed
  2. 1 onion diced
  3. 1 tbs olive oil
  4. 1 tsp fine sea salt
  5. 4 tsp Moroccan spice mix
  6. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  7. 1tbs Lemon juice
  8. 250g diced pumpkin
  9. 2 cups of vegetable stock
  10. A handful of chopped fresh coriander

  • Mix cranberries with lemon juice, cover and microwave on high for 30 seconds
  • Rinse Quinoa and drain well
  • Heat olive oil and saute onions until soft, add spice, salt and pumpkin and saute for another 2 minutes until fragrant
  • Add quinoa and stock and simmer for 15min stirring occasionally
  • Stir through cranberries and garnish with coriander.
Other Ideas:
Add to Soups, hamburgers, tabouli, salads, bread, muesli etc etc etc!

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