Quinoa is a very soft easily digested grain that tastes very good. You could say it is a grain that, compared to all other grains, has the largest share of protein, phosphorus , calcium, iron and magnesium. Quinoa not only contains many nutritional properties, but it is also gluten-free. This makes it a suitable and valuable grain for celiac diets. These individuals cannot tolerate the gluten in barley , wheat and oats, among other grains.
Quinoa can be called by several names: quinoa hupa, canigua, dahua, Candonga, rice, Peru, Inca wheat or SCIs.
Quinoa and celiac disease
The truth is, quinoa is suitable for consumption by everyone, however, it is said that this grain is perfect for celiac patients because, as mentioned before, it is gluten-free.
Quinoa is a plant rich and full of health benefits:
- Provides grains rich in slow-absorbed carbohydrates.
- Contains high quality vegetable proteins
- Contains all essential amino acids.
- Provides vitamins like C, E and B.
- Provides beneficial fats for the hear, so it is fit for people suffering from high cholesterol or triglycerides, and cardiovascular problems.
- It is rich in minerals, including calcium, phosphorus and iron.
- It has a large amount of fiber, so it is advisable for maintaining proper digestive system functioning, preventing constipation and to help clean the intestines.
- It is rich in B group vitamins.
- Does not contain uric acid, wihch is a disadvantage for animal products
- FAO and WHO consider quinoa to be unique in its high nutritional value.
Quinoa in the kitchen
This grain is easy to cook, and you can find it in many forms:
- In granola bars, some organic candies or snacks.
You can prepare many dishes with quinoa, like soups, stews, salads and even very nutritious smoothies! In the Andes, the Andean people ferment Quinoa to make beer ( “Chicha,” as they call it). This grain is cooked for preparing regional sweets. As you can see, it is a very versatile grain for using in the kitchen.
How to cook it
1. The first thing to do is wash the grain very well, because it has a bitter outside. Some countries sell it without the outside, but it is always necessary to wash thoroughly before cooking.
2. After this you can use it in recipes in the same way you use rice, it can even replace the rice.
3. You can find it ground, and it can be mixed with other flours to make several breads and cookies.
We suggest you try this delicious and nutritious recipe below:
Quinoa with vegetables
Yield: 6 to 8 people
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 c. quinoa
- 1 Tbsp. Sunflower oil
- 1Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 c. Green and red bell peppers, chopped into cubes
- 2 c. Carrots, chopped into cubes
- 3 finely chopped chives
- 2 c. finely chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp. finely grated parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
1. Heat the vegetable broth in a small pot with 2 teaspoons of salt.
2. Wash quinoa in several changes of water and let drain in a colander with cold water.
3. When the broth starts to boil drop in the quinoa. Stir and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a large skillet, heat oil, sauteeing the vegetables over high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add garlic and sauté for two more minutes. Remove from heat and immediately mix with quinoa, using a fork to separate grains of this.
6. Season with Parmesan cheese and more salt if necessary.
7. This is rich in riboflavin.
Some history and culture
Quinoa is a plant from the Andean region. It is slightly similar to rice, so the Spaniards called it the “Arrocillo American” or “wheat of the Incas.” This grain has been grown for over 3000 years, mainly in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. It grows to about 3.500 m. in poor soil where other crops cannot grow or survive.
Traditional medicinal properties
This grain was and is appreciated by the Andeans for treating various diseases, such as liver disease, urinary tract infections, dental analgesic, anti-angina, anti-inflammatory and for wound healing.
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