16 Apr Superfood: Quinoa
I used to call it ‘Queen-Ah’.
Yes, typical Asian, I know. *grin*
It’s actually pronounced as ‘Keen-Wah’. Pretty unique, right?
It has all the eight amino acid to make a complete protein and high in Vitamin B, E, iron, zinc, potassium and calcium. It is gluten-free and easy to digest.
A little fun history lesson – Quinoa was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas cultivated at such high altitude.
Commonly thought of as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed! I fell in love with quinoa ever since my yogamate brought quinoa salad to the graduation party. It has a light nutty flavour, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outer.
Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the naturally occurring bitter coating called saponin. You can see it as it produces soapy solution in water. Alternatively, you can soak quinoa overnight! That’s what I do- not only to reduce anti-nutrients but to also allow it to sprout ( I’m always excited to see the little ‘tails’ coming out) making it more digestible. You may find it tedious but it’s more of a ‘ set it and forget it’, you don’t have to keep attending to it.
Let’s dive in!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- Rinse and drain quinoa using a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.
- Combine quinoa and water. Bring to boil.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
To jazz it up into a mediterranean salad:
Combine cooked or canned kidney beans, chickpeas, long beans (chopped), capsicum, celery, pine nuts or any other nuts of your choice. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar or any dressing of your choice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To save time, cook a big batch of quinoa and eat it in batches for the next few days.
If you’re bored with rice, use quinoa as a substitute! Try it.
With lots of Keen-Wah love,