Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is the edible seed from the quinoa plant, a plant related to spinach and chard. Although technically a seed, it is normally classified as a grain since its appearance is similar to the grains we are familiar with.
What is so special about Quinoa?
- Complete Protein – it contains all 9 essential amino acids, including lysine, a protein normally only found in animal products. This makes it an excellent choice for vegetarians/vegans.
- High in Calcium & Manganese – help to reduce fatigue levels, bone loss, menstrual flow, and speed up the recovery of bone fractures.
- No Gluten – quinoa is naturally gluten-free and does not grow near wheat crops, so it’s a great choice for those that are gluten intolerant. Most people also find quinoa is easy to digest.
- Easy to Prepare – cooks within 15 minutes. Can easily tell when it is done cooking because the seeds turn translucent and a small white thread perimeter (germ) emerges. It has a light, fluffy texture when cooked.
- Light Weight – the seed is tiny & light weight, making it the perfect staple for backpacking. It boasts
- Variety of Uses – incorporate in dishes as you would rice or noodles with various spices and vegetables, add to soups, eat as a breakfast porridge, as a side dish, a dessert, add the flakes/flour to salad and smoothies.
- Mild Flavor – boosts the nutritional content of almost any dish while giving it a mild and nutty flavor.
Do I need to rinse my Quinoa?
When the quinoa seed grows it protects itself from insects and wildlife by coating itself with a bitter substance called saponin. Most of the quinoa sold in North America has been pre-rinsed to remove this substance. Therefore, rinsing is not normally necessary.
Backpacking with Quinoa
Many backpackers want to eat Quinoa on the trail but choose not to because it takes upwards of 15 minutes to fully cook. Outdoor Herbivore’s Instant Organic Quinoa has been rinsed, lightly cooked, then dehydrated to provide you the fastest cooking Quinoa on the market! Just add the desired amount to boiled water and rest about 7 minutes! Because quinoa has a very mild flavor, it should be seasoned for added flavor.
- 1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa contains about 160 calories per 1.5 ounces
Quinoa may be sprouted to boost its nutritional value. Sprouting or germinating seeds activates the natural enzymes present within the seed and multiples vitamin content. Outdoor Herbivore offers Lemon Quinoa Tabbouleh made with sprouted quinoa.
May you consume wisely,