Quinoa, pronounced Keen-wah is my favorite ‘whole grain’ simply because it is loaded with nutrients, protein (all essential amino acids), cooks fast, for a whole food and it is reasonably priced considering the fact that it is not cultivated in Kenya, to the best of my knowledge. First of all, it is not technically a grain, but the fruit seed of a green leafy vegetable related to spinach, swiss chard, beets, so you know its damn healthy and good for you.
Some of the nutrients in quinoa include:
- Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
- Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
- Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
- Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.
Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. (http://bodyecology.com/articles/quinoa_benefits_guide.php#.UX9cAKJTApk)
- Quinoa is comprised with complex carbohydrates, a low GI of 53 hence invaluable to diabetics who would like to substitute brown rice due to the long cooking time.
- This pseudocereal is rich in antioxidants, which help in slowing down ageing, curbing disease and making your skin shiny and beautiful and young. This is one of the reasons the bouncers always ask for my ID when I got to the club, my diet is full of anti-ageing nutrients that I look like roughly 6 years younger. There was a time a bouncer actually thought I had run away from school to go rave, I can’t blame him, it’s the antioxidants.
- Quinoa is also very rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients and most disease result from consistent inflammation, like arthritis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer.
- Quinoa is such a superfood that the Incas used to eat some just immediately before entering the heat of battle in ancient south America, this has been attributed to their numerous victories, even when outnumbered 10 soldiers to 1, tafakari
- Quinoa is a prebiotic which means it fills the gut with good flora, good bacteria that improve digestion. A good digestive system has a ripple effect of being healthy since most disease begin in the gut, according to Hippocrates, the father of Greek natural medicine.
How To Cook Quinoa
I buy my quinoa from healthy U galleria, (KES 99 per 100 grammes) and it always comes presoaked. If you get it from a packet soak it for 10-15 minutes to remove saponins that can make it taste nasty.
- Bring to boil 1.5 cups of water.
- Season the water with natural Himalayan salt.
- Steep 1 cup of quinoa and bring to boil.
- Cover the lid and cook exactly 20 minutes on medium-low heat (simmer)
- Rest 5 minutes with lid on and then serve
From here you can be creative with the quinoa like throwing it in a salad, guacamole…my fav is quinoa-guacamole lettuce wraps with grilled fish/chicken, heavenly divine. you have to wait for my book to get this recipes, and more 🙂