Following on from my last post, I wanted to introduce you to quinoa, a small seed with a powerhouse of nutrition. Quinoa presents like a grain and most would therefore think of it as belonging to the grain family. It fluffs up like rice and can be used as a rice replacement. You can also add it to soups, breads, cakes, muffins, salads, burgers and stews.
Quinoa’s nutritional benefits are many. They include:
- A number of anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrients: “polysaccharides like arabinans and rhamnogalacturonans; hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids; flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol; and saponins including molecules derived from oleanic acid, hederagenin and serjanic acid. Small amounts of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are also provided by quinoa.” – from World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.com)
- Heart healthy fats including oleic acid.
- High in manganese, tryptophan, folate, magnesium and phosphorus.
- Serves as a complete protein.
- High in lysine.
- Contains twice the amount of calcium as whole wheat.
- High in the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol.
To cook quinoa, use 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water. Add salt or stock paste as desired.
Quinoa can also be ground down into a flour and used in baked goods. It’s high protein content makes for a healthier snack. Try my recipe below for Pumpkin, Lime and Quinoa Salad (From Fairytale Food Safari)
This is a recipe straight from Fairytale Food Safari. A refreshing salad made with light and fluffy quinoa, pumpkin and zesty lime. Also great made with sweet potato.
- In a small saucepan, combine, quinoa with water and sea salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed. Set aside with the lid on until all water is absorbed and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the oil and add the onion. Stir fry until tender
- and then add the vinegar. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring often.
- Add the pumpkin and cook for a couple of minutes. When pumpkin is soft but
- not mushy, remove from heat and leave to cool.
- Combine dressing ingredients and when all hot ingredients have cooled, combine
- everything in a bowl and serve.