Having written two books and numerous articles about the subject I am still surprised when someone says to me “What’s Quinoa?”.
Being so closely involved makes me forget the it is one of the forgotten superfoods. Fortunately it is having a renaissance in the 21st century as people discover the many health benefits. It still has not had a great deal of television coverage but that will come as TV chefs realise its good points and start using it.
The reason for its growing popularity is twofold. Firstly there is the health benefits of quinoa. Secondly is the fact that quinoa is so easy to cook and include in your diet. Now that you can buy it over the counter in most food stores and supermarkets people are buying and adding it to their diet
Quinoa is a South American plant that bears seeds that you can eat. In recent years quinoa farming has been set up in the USA and I have personally grown my own quinoa in the south of England.
The plant is very easy to grow and does not have high demands in terms of soil quality and nutrients. If you do grow it in a fertile ground then you will get a higher yield but quinoa will grow pretty much anywhere.
The reason so many people are shouting its praises is because it is a fantastic source of protein and a slow releasing source of carbohydrates. It is also a very versatile food that can be used in salads, stir fry dishes, soups and casseroles and much more.
Quinoa is classed as a vegetable protein which is easy to digest. It has been shown to be good for your kidneys and bladder as it contains all the essential amino acids.
The taste of quinoa is light and delicate and can be used instead of rice in most recipes. Some people use it instead of couscous although it does not have the same texture as couscous. As you cook quinoa the external germ forms a band around each seed. It spirals out from the main seed forming a short tail. This tail gives quinoa its signature crunchy feel and texture.
Many vegans use quinoa to provide protein in their diet as it is a complete protein. In the UK athletes and sports men and women use it to help build up their stamina.