A small round seed, a little larger than a grain of millet. It is a complete protein and high in calcium. As it has a slightly bitter taste when cooked, I tend to add one part millet to 2-3 parts quinoa and boil in water until tender (as if making rice). Many health food stores stock quinoa in their bulk food bins and are beginning to stock quinoa pasta for thsoe who are allergic to wheat gluten. Quinoa was a staple food of the Incan civilization. Technically speaking, it is the seed of a South American herb, and not a grain.

Quinoa, pronounced kwin-noa by most everyone you will encounter even at the natural food store/co-op. Do not be deceived. Its proper pronunciation is keen-wah. While at one time it was grown by the Inca high on the Andes. Most if not all quinoa in the United States is grown high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Some people Complain of quinoa's bitter flavor but this can be solved by either incorporating the flavor (ex. a curry that needs that tartness can be served with quinoa as opposed to rice) or toasting it to bring out its natural nutty flavor.

Quinoa is an excellent breakfast food as it contains complete protein without much of the fat or sometimes exhaust(ing/ed) flavor of meat. Served hot with almonds and maple syrup it is probably the most nutritious hot breakfast cereal available. While some would argue that fortified women's oatmeal (produced by Quaker Oats) has more vitamins, it does not contain as much protein as a comparable serving size of quinoa.

Quinoa as breakfast:

  1. Rinse quinoa to your satisfaction. The more you rinse the more of the bitter coating (the plants natural insect repellent) is removed.
  2. Fill your bowl to 1/4 capacity with quinoa and nearly fill it with water.
  3. Make sure all of the quinoa is submerged if not push it underwater with a fork or your hand.
  4. Place your bowl in the microwave for 15 minutes.
  5. When the timer goes off the the water should all be evaporated or absorbed into the quinoa. The quinoa should be nearly transparent or fully transparent excepting those few grains at the top. If this is not the case and there is sitting water nuke it for another 5 minutes.
  6. When you have completed the above steps you are ready to add some toppings. My favorites are cottage cheese with almonds and maple syrup. Blue berries strawberries and dried fruit are also all good choices.
  7. Enjoy.

Qui*no"a (?), n.

The seeds of a kind of goosewort (Chenopodium Quinoa), used in Chili and Peru for making porridge or cakes; also, food thus made.


© Webster 1913.

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