Monday, June 21, 2010

Would You Like to Know More About Quinoa?: All About this Peruvian Cereal

Quinoa is a cereal grain from the Andes of Peru and South America, closely related to the amaranth. Quinoa´s origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, used by the Inca civilization.

Quinoa was known then, and is still nowadays known, as the mother grain. Each year the Inca, using a golden spade, planted the first quinoa seeds of the season, and at the solstice, priests bearing gold vessels filled with quinoa made offerings to their god Inti, the Sun. The grain thrives at high altitudes of approximately 9,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level.

Quinoa (pronounced kee-noo-ah) contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Its protein is of an unusually high quality, with an essential amino acid balance similar to milk. Quinoa, combined with other grains or soy will boost their protein value. It also provides starch, sugars, oil (high in essential linoleic acid), fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Easy on the stomach

Quinoa is light, tasty and easy to digest. It has a delicious flavor of its own.

Delicious and extremely versatile

It may be used in place of almost any other grain, including rice, to make everything from appetizers to desserts. Just takes 15 minutes to prepare a whole dish.

Perfect for summer and winter

Quinoa´s lightness makes it easy to combine in cold dishes like salads, ideal source of good summertime nutrition for grownups and children. In winter it can be eaten hot, combined with meats or vegetables.

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