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Quinoa – The everyday superfood
Pronounced 'keen-wah', quinoa is a frequently overlooked
and relatively unknown superfood, containing a perfect balance of all
eight essential amino acids. It is gluten-free and a great source of
Derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name ‘kinwa’, this
ancient grain originated in the Andes. It was successfully cultivated
for human consumption 3000 years ago. The Incas called the crop
‘chisaya mama’ or mother of all grains. It’s said that the emperor
would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using golden
tools. After the conquest of South America the Spanish conquistadors
forbade quinoa cultivation because of its religious and cultural
The grain has enjoyed a revival in Peru over the past decades and is
now finding a new and appreciative audience worldwide. Its healthful
qualities are prized but quinoa isn’t a medicine. Consider it as a
delicious addition to your larder or take advantage of its lack of
gluten if you are intolerant. It’s versatile and can be used as flour
in baking or presented as a grain, whole or sprouted, in cooked dishes
Red quinoa is showcased in the recipe for Salmon and Red Quinoa on
Asparagus with Lime Cilantro (coriander) Sauce. The delicate pink of
the fish is framed by the earth-red of the grain. A visually appealing
dish and a stylish introduction to what, for many, is a new foodstuff.
Yes, it looks good but it’s the taste and texture that will encourage
you to make this often.
It’s easy to sprout quinoa, and kids will love to take part in the
process. They will be sure to eat salads garnished with their handiwork
as long as you don’t tell them it’s doing them good. There are some
tempting and fresh ideas for light salads, as well as others with
robust flavour from chilli. This is not the beige and bland health food
fare we endured in the 80s.
Quinoa isn’t only used for savoury recipes – quinoa flour is used here
in several sweet treats. Raspberry Coconut Bars are simple to make and
will be appreciated by those who have to avoid regular white flour.
It’s Peanut Butter Cookies, though, that have my vote for the sweet
Authors Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming have penned a manual of more
than 170 recipes for this still unfamiliar grain. We are more conscious
than ever before of the need to eat well, and this is a book for those
with specific dietary issues, as well as those who just enjoy good
food. A unique volume.
Cookbook review: Quinoa – The everyday superfood
Authors: Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
Published by: Apple Press