An Incan Treasure – Superfood Quinoa

Quintessential as part of a vegetarian and vegan diet, quinoa is today revered as the world’s healthiest food

The Incas called it Mother Grain. This wholegrain is in fact a seed which has been cultivated for thousands of years and is mainly grown in Bolivia and Peru. It is a powerhouse of nutrition, heralded as perfect a food as you can get – a complete protein, it contains all 8 essential amino acids and is packed with dietary fibre, minerals phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and iron and Vitamins A and E.

In its raw state, quinoa is tiny and round, lighter in colour than millet. Once cooked, its neutral taste lets it absorb the flavour of the other ingredients added to it. It’s so versatile it can be substituted for rice, pasta, couscous, bulgur or millet in just about any recipe. Moreover it’s wheat free, gluten free and cholesterol free – excellent news for anyone with an allergy or sensitivity or who simply want to live healthily.

Quinoa is the perfect grain to rustle up in the kitchen too, as it cooks very quickly. You’d cook it in the same way you’d cook any other wholegrain. Always remember to add twice as much liquid to the amount of quinoa, bring to the boil and cover. Leave to simmer gently until all the water is absorbed and the grain is translucent with an outer orbit formed around the grain.

Quinoa is great in a number of dishes including salads, stews, soups, stir fries, as a vegetable stuffing or as a breakfast cereal. This tasty ingredient should become part of you and your family’s healthy eating plan thanks to all the nutritional benefits it brings with it.

Why not have a go at this tantalising recipe?

Mediterranean Summer Gains Salad

Quinoa & Lentil Salad with Caramelised Cauliflower