Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru before they were colonized and became nation-states, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption. Quinoa was revered by the Inca as their Mother Grain until the Spanish practically wiped out cultivation. It continued flourishing in remote locations - quinoa does extremely well in difficult ecological conditions like high altitude, thin air, hot sun, radiation, drought and poor soil. Most quinoa varieties grow best at 10,000 feet or above.
Quinoa is a member of the goosefoot family so while it is used like a cereal grain, it is not classified as one. After harvest, the grains need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. When buying quinoa, check the box to see if it says pre-rinsed or you will you have to rinse before cooking.
Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Substitute quinoa for rice, pasta, millet and couscous. It has a fabulous texture with a slight pop and a mild nutty flavor. Add to salads, soups – really your imagination is the limit for quinoa.
See the post by the Healthy Goddess – How to Cook Perfect Quinoa
Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.
Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins and vitamin E.
Quinoa has the highest protein of any grain (16%) and is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. It has an essential amino acid profile to milk or an egg.
Quinoa contains a high percentage of the amino acid lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair
Quinoa is a good source or Magnesium which contributes to relaxing blood vessels which makes for a healthy cardiovascular system and may assist those who sufferf rom migraines.
Eating a serving of whole grains, such as quinoa, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Quinoa is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains.
Quinoa is an antioxidant – from Whole Foods: “Quinoa is a very good source of manganese, a mineral that serve as a cofactor for the superoxide dismutase enzyme. Superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant that helps to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage created during energy production as well as guard other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals. ”
Quinoa is a warming chi and yang tonic that supports the kidney and heart functions.
In Ayurveda – Quinoa decreases kapha.
Quinoa is eaten daily in the Healthy Goddess Kitchen and the Healthy Goddess is responsible for spreading the power of Quinoa and creating The Hungry Goddess’ addiction to Quinoa.
We happily channel the Quinoa Goddess, Mother of All Grains who sends inspiration for delicious combinations to keep our bodies powerful and healthy!