The Essential History Of Quinoa

Bulk White Quinoa Seeds

Once considered an alternative crop or a niche food, quinoa is now becoming increasingly common in North America. Interest in the superior nutritional properties of quinoa (a food previously common only among vegetarians or the gluten-intolerant) has encouraged cooks at all skill levels to create unique dishes to please themselves and their families and intrigue dinner party guests. Nutrient-packed quinoa has sparked the interest of the health-conscious, those seeking weight loss and those on high-protein diets.

Although quinoa is mostly grown in South America, you will find it on most grocery store shelves, and in health food stores and bulk food warehouses. You can also order quinoa online from health food supply stores, making it easy to get larger quantities shipped right to your front door. Pastas that use quinoa as an ingredient, often combined with rice, kamut or potato flours, can also be found on the market.

If you’ve got 15 minutes, you have time to cook quinoa. It cooks up in a snap and lasts in the refrigerator for up to one week. Tight for time? Preparing plain quinoa on the weekend and leaving it in the refrigerator will allow you to speedily throw together many of your favorite recipes in no time at all. You can use quinoa in almost everything, which means you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks-and get maximum health benefits from this superfood.

Those who are familiar with quinoa tend to cook it in a few of their favorite, standard quinoa dishes. Others have only recently learned about it and have many questions about how to cook quinoa and incorporate it into their daily menus. Whether you’re a dabbler in the kitchen or an experienced cook, these recipes will show you how to use this valuable superfood every day.


m Ithiest foods, quinoa has a com atrients, making it an ideal lifestyle. The versatility of st everything you eat through ads, entrées and desserts can all be made i Identified as one of the world’s healthiest for plete combination of all life-supporting nutriente whole food to incorporate into your daily lifestyle quinoa makes it compatible with almost everythin out the year. Soups, salads, entrées and desser quinoa and taste great. It is very easy to preparere cooking ability. Quinoa is also considered kosher not a grain nor related to grains. to prepare, regardless of your s or vegans, quinoa is a nutri in Optimal amino acid nideal alternative to meat nefit from quinoa, which is a ed foods, quinoa digests gradually. Especially important for vegetarians or vegans, quinoa tionally superior source of non-animal protein. Optimal content and ease of digestion make quinoa an ideal altern proteins. Those on weight-loss diets can also benefit from quinoa complex carbohydrate, also known as a “good” carbohydrate. Un simple carbohydrates from processed foods, quinoa digests gr This contributes more nutritional value because it does not convert sugar to fat, making it ideal for low-carbohydrate diete addition, complex carbohydrates leave you feeling fuller longerena can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Some research has shown the high-protein diets may aid in weight loss.- High levels of protein me be beneficial for weight loss, but if the primary protein source is fatty meats, you could create additional health concerns. Red meat, in particular, contains saturated fat, and excessive consumption of saturated fats has been shown to cause heart disease. Many meats also contain antibiotics, additives and preservatives. For those on a high-protein diet, quinoa makes an ideal meat substitute. Quinoa has been ranked as one of the top ten muscle-building foods for its protein, amino acid content and complex carbohydrates. The quality of protein in quinoa means that the body efficiently uses the building blocks, rather than eliminating them as waste as with many of the protein supplements that muscle building requires. Quinoa is also an ideal athletic-performance food because the complex carbohydrates pravide energy and endurance to hard-working muscles. growing number of people have allergies to food, including wheat But wheat derivatives and even foods containing traces of wheat. estea does not belong to the same plant family as wheat and does no centrin gluten. It is therefore safe for the gluten-intolerant or thos


with celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or colitis. Quinoa has been identified as ideal for the gluten-free diets recommended for autistic children and those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Quinoa, while not technically a grain, is similar to whole grains, which have been demonstrated to reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart failure because they slow the speed of arterial plaque and may help to remove buildup of plaque in the arteries. Quinoa is also rich in magnesium, which helps to reduce high blood pressure because it allows the blood vessels to relax. In addition, plant lignans, or phytonutrients, are present in whole foods such as quinoa and are thought to be responsible for protection against a variety of illnesses. Even beyond heart health, consumption of whole grains has been linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer, prevention of gallstones and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.° Quinoa’s high manganese and copper content gives it antioxidant power to promote the elimination of toxins and free radicals that may cause disease. It is also abundant in linolenic acid, the essential fatty acid that has proven beneficial to immune response.’ This is indeed a superfood! Types of Quinoa Quinoa seeds (often referred to as “grains”) are available in red, black, and white or a golden color. White or golden are the most common available commercially, with black and red becoming increasingly available. The colors can be mixed together in recipes, or used to create drama in dishes for special occasions. The recipes in this book, unless specified, mostly use white or golden quinoa, but you can experiment with any colors you choose. The nutritional values of different colors may vary slightly; however, they all are power-packed. Processed quinoa flour is a creamy ivory color and most often has the same fine texture as regular all-purpose flour. However, some quinoa flours on the market are more rustic and have a coarser texture. We suggest you buy the finest one available for the best baking results.


The Mystery & History of Quinoa by Claire Burnett, MSc, and Laurie Scanlin, PhD Vice president and president of Keen Ingredients Inc. Quinoa is believed to be the most powerful food to come from the Andean Mountain regions of Peru and Bolivia. Over five thousand years ago the indigenous peoples of the Altiplano regarded quinoa as more valuable than gold. The Incas considered quinoa to be their most sacred food, which contained spiritually enhancing qualities, and so named it la chisiya mama, or “the mother grain.” At the start of each growing season, the em- peror would perform elaborate religious rituals to ensure a prosperous crop and then give thanks at harvest. Celebrations often included the consumption of a fermented beerlike quinoa beverage called chicha. The Incas found that only quinoa was powerful enough to sustain their bodies and provide them with the stamina, strength and energy required to perform endurance activities. The Inca armies would march for days and even weeks at altitudes above twelve thousand feet, consuming absolutely no animal protein, Their only source of nutrition and energy came from a mixture of quinoa and fat referred to as “war balls.” When the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, they recognized the strength that quinoa brought to the Incas. In order to control their culture, the Spanish armies destroyed the quinoa fields and made it illegal for the Incas to grow, consume or worship the “magical” grain. Quinoa was replaced with crops such as potatoes, wheat and barley, and soon after, malnutrition and infant mortality were on the rise. What little quinoa cultivation remained was hidden away high up on the mountainous hillsides, where the plant adapted to the harsh environmental extremes of poor soil, drought, intense ultraviolet light and severe frost. Its superior nutritional qualities, adaptation to harsh conditions and ability to survive for over five thousand years have earned quinoa the right to be called a true superfood. Quinoa is still cultivated and commercially grown in Peru and Bolivia, but its range has stretched to include Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and, more recently, Colorado, Canada, Asia and even Europe. Quinoa’s popularity today comes not only from its heartiness and ability to grow in marginal conditions, but also from its superior nutritional composition. Continued on next page..


also make your own lender or food processor. e might consider slightly slight bitterness dis ledge that the dish pa flour can be used in almost ter the final taste se texture, however, you can also make you If you prefer a coarse texture, howeve flour by grinding raw quinoa in a blender or food pr Quinoa flour has a nutty flavor that some mighte bitter. Paired with the proper ingredients, the slight bit onnears and the result is great taste and the knowledge that you’ve prepared is super nutritious. Quinoa floure, king, but the slightly nutty flavor may alter the fir all regular baking, but the slightly nutt fyour dish. This flavor works well in most recipes, but no sionally overpower in others. In addition, the lack of gluten your quick breads feel slightly denser and heavier. An on incorporating quinoa flour into your baking is to con noa flour, combined with portions of all-purpose white, w potato, tapioca or rice flours. Store quinoa flour in the role freezer for maximum freshness. Quinoa flakes are available in health food stores and some cialty grocery stores. They have the same texture as rolled prepared similarly. As with cooked oatmeal, the taste of quim is fairly plain so they are easily compatible with many of the same recipes as oats. Quinoa flakes make a great breakfast cereal anden combined with dried apricots, raisins or fresh fruit; flakes also make a fantastic baby food. It is sometimes a challenge to find quinoa flakes on the market, so we have included only a few recipes with flakes in this book. recipes, but may occa e lack of gluten can make heavier. An option when ing is to use a portion of qui se white, whole wheat, curin the refrigerator or ture as rolled oats and are Preparing Quinoa Quinoa is easy to cook and a variety of methods can be used. Simply choose the one that works best for you. Quinoa cooks much like rice, couscous or millet and can be used in many of the same dishes. Cooked quinoa fluffs up and expands the same way as rice and almost triples the original uncooked amount. The natural nutty flavor is complemented by fruit, vegetables, sauces, meats-almost everything you prepare already, every day. Quinoa s versatility means that you can use it in appetizers and side dishes on as an entrée all on its own. It is a thickening agent and makes a super soup base or pudding, whether you use the seeds puréed or the sou cooked in water. preparing quinoa is the SIMMER AND SET. The main method of preparing quin stovetop simmer-and-set method, which is similar to COON Quinoa cooks in half the time it takes to cook rice, with ing in roughly 10 to 15 minutes. The simmer-and-set meth preferred method because it’s quick and no draining is te rice, with one cup cook and-set method is our Iraining is required.


rand bringing to bok for 10 minutes. Thent Cook the quinoa by combining the quinoa and a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for in the heat off, keeping the saucepan covered and on residual heat in the pot to continue cooking the quinoat 7 minutes. The amount of time it sits covered d. n the burner to allow noa for another 4 to son how it will as in salads, allow 4 to fluffier texture of quinoa Heereals and most entrées, allow the be used. If the desired texture is al dente, such as in minutes. Where a lighter, plumper and fluffier tey is required, such as in breakfast cereals and in saucepan to sit covered for 5 to 7 minutes. For rec food and baking, the saucepan should sit covered There’s no need to stir or lift the cover during the co but remember to remove from the heat and uncover od to prevent overcooking. If water still remains after the cooking time, it’s likely a result of covering the saucepan ar erature before bringing to a full boil. To solve this the saucepan covered on the burner for an additional 5 minutes D and black quinoa may leave a small amount of water if the total ing time is less than 14 minutes. Excess water can easily be draina recipes such as baby vered for 10 to 15 minutes. ng the cooking process, duncover after the set perimains after the appropriate o the saucepan and decreas an additional 5 minutes. Red COOK AND DRAIN. A great method for those concerned about any potential bitter taste, this method is the same as cooking pasta. Cook the quinoa uncovered in a large saucepan of water on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. (Use about four parts water to one part quinoa.) Drain well; the quinoa will be translucent and plump. Uncooked quinoa will yield the same cooked amounts as above. STEAMER. Quinoa can be steamed in any of the convenient and pop lar rice steamers available on the market; simply follow the mana facturer’s instructions for cooking white rice, and remember extra room for the additional volume of quinoa.


also make your own lender or food processor. e might consider slightly slight bitterness dis ledge that the dish pa flour can be used in almost ter the final taste se texture, however, you can also make you If you prefer a coarse texture, howeve flour by grinding raw quinoa in a blender or food pr Quinoa flour has a nutty flavor that some mighte bitter. Paired with the proper ingredients, the slight bit onnears and the result is great taste and the knowledge that you’ve prepared is super nutritious. Quinoa floure, king, but the slightly nutty flavor may alter the fir all regular baking, but the slightly nutt fyour dish. This flavor works well in most recipes, but no sionally overpower in others. In addition, the lack of gluten your quick breads feel slightly denser and heavier. An on incorporating quinoa flour into your baking is to con noa flour, combined with portions of all-purpose white, w potato, tapioca or rice flours. Store quinoa flour in the role freezer for maximum freshness. Quinoa flakes are available in health food stores and some cialty grocery stores. They have the same texture as rolled prepared similarly. As with cooked oatmeal, the taste of quim is fairly plain so they are easily compatible with many of the same recipes as oats. Quinoa flakes make a great breakfast cereal anden combined with dried apricots, raisins or fresh fruit; flakes also make a fantastic baby food. It is sometimes a challenge to find quinoa flakes on the market, so we have included only a few recipes with flakes in this book. recipes, but may occa e lack of gluten can make heavier. An option when ing is to use a portion of qui se white, whole wheat, curin the refrigerator or ture as rolled oats and are Preparing Quinoa Quinoa is easy to cook and a variety of methods can be used. Simply choose the one that works best for you. Quinoa cooks much like rice, couscous or millet and can be used in many of the same dishes. Cooked quinoa fluffs up and expands the same way as rice and almost triples the original uncooked amount. The natural nutty flavor is complemented by fruit, vegetables, sauces, meats-almost everything you prepare already, every day. Quinoa s versatility means that you can use it in appetizers and side dishes on as an entrée all on its own. It is a thickening agent and makes a super soup base or pudding, whether you use the seeds puréed or the sou cooked in water. preparing quinoa is the SIMMER AND SET. The main method of preparing quin stovetop simmer-and-set method, which is similar to COON Quinoa cooks in half the time it takes to cook rice, with ing in roughly 10 to 15 minutes. The simmer-and-set meth preferred method because it’s quick and no draining is te rice, with one cup cook and-set method is our Iraining is required.


RINSING QUINOA The light, nutty and sometimes slightly bitter flavor of quinoa is a result of the protective coating, called saponin, on the outside of the seed. Most of it is washed off during commercial processing, so unless you’re buying quinoa from a local farmer or in bulk, the saponin will already be removed. Regardless, some insist that the taste of cooked quinoa is further improved if it is rinsed before it is prepared. This can be done by rinsing quinoa under running water in a strainer or soaking the quinoa in a bowl for two to three hours and then rinsing it. In addition, while rinsing or soaking the quinoa you can gently rub it between your fingers to quickly rid it of any remaining bitterness. If you are at all concerned about any bitter taste of the quinoa you have purchased, these steps will remove it.


SUPERFOOD FOR SUPER BABIES The ancient Incas called quinoa “the mother grain” for a reason. This whole food was thought to promote healthy pregnancy, contribute to a healthy baby and enhance a mother’s milk. Quinoa is rich in the amino acid histadine, which cannot be formed by combinations of nutrients and instead must be provided directly in the diet. Histadine is considered an essential amino acid in children because it is necessary for human development.10 The perfect profile of quinoa’s nutrients is ideal for providing a great start to children. Quinoa offers abundant protein that is easily digestible. It is almost always organic and full of fiber, iron and calcium, which are three key components for baby nutrition as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Canadian nutritional requirements. Quinoa is a great alternative to traditional “first” foods that have inferior nutrient value, such as rice. The increasing incidence of allergies to dairy and wheat can be safely avoided with the choice of quinoa.


substallidl dmIUUIIS of them the amino acid ential for infants (Quinoa has long cod for babies in vinoa. It is rich 1 B6, folic acid, bio Superfood-Super Nutrition Today, quinoa is most frequently consumed in its whole form, but it’s also available as flour and as flakes. As a commercial ingredient, quinoa is gaining popularity and can be occasionally found in pasta, nutrition bars, baked goods and cereals. Technically, quinoa is not a grain at all. It is cultivated and used similarly to a grain but is actually the fruit of a broadleaf plant. It is in the same family as spinach and beets (Chenopodiaceae) inoa, when compared to corn, histidine, which is essential for and young children. (Quinoa h been used as a weaning food for h the Andean regions.) Not to be overlooked is the vit and mineral content of quinoa. It: in vitamins E, B2 and B6, folic acie tin, calcium, potassium, iron, co magnesium, manganese and chlor Quinoa is higher in calcium and it than rice, corn, wheat, barley or oats Research has shown the oil com nent in quinoa, whence and is classified as a “pseudocereal.” The sesame, soybean and cottonseed, has seeds range in color from ivory to ma lower levels of saturated fat and higher genta, yellow, orange, red, green, brown levels of mono-and polyunsaturated and even black. Some quinoa fields are fats. It is free of cholesterol and trans grown strictly for one color preference, fat. The fatty acid composition of quinoa while others exhibit the full rainbow of oil is similar to that of corn, with a high its spectacular colors. The protein in quinoa is the source of concentration of linoleic and linolenia its power. It contains all of the essential acid. Additionally, quinoa contains hich amino acids necessary to support human levels of natural antioxidants, mainly growth and development. According to tocopherols (vitamin E), recognized to the Food and Agriculture Organization have cancer-preventative and anti-aging (FAO) of the United Nations, the nutri- effects. Antioxidants also help prevent tional quality of quinoa compares to that rancidity, which leads to a natural extenof dried whole milk. Extremely rare for s ion of the product’s shelf life. a vegetable or plant, quinoa’s amino acid For all these reasons, nasa is concomposition is of higher quality than sidering quinoa as a crop for Controlled wheat, barley, rice or soybeans and is Ecological Life Support System (CELSS). comparable to casein, the protein found Initial studies by NASA indicate that it in milk. could be an excellent crop for CELSs beMost grains are limited in the amino cause of its high concentration of protein, ease of use, versatility in preparation and potential for high crop yields. In future, quinoa may be feeding our as necessary to eat a variety nauts on their long journey to Me Mars. acid lysine, while legumes are limited in the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Since these foods are considered to be incomplete, it’s necessary to eat a variety of them to ensure adequate protein. Quinoa, however, is classified as a complete protein. Additionally, quinoa is glutenfree, is hypoallergenic and contains.

Saponin


The quinoa seed contains a bitter coat ing called saponin, which is normally removed prior to consumption. Saponin has an undesirable taste, making it an effective means of protecting the plant from attack by insects and birds. The majority of saponin is removed by means of mechanical abrasion prior to distribution, but it is still recommended that quinoa be rinsed before using to wash off any remaining bitterness. The saponin byproduct has potential industrial uses, including natural insecticides, soaps and shampoos, and is being investigated for its possible pharmaceutical uses.