Quinoa sourced down under
Quinoa (kin-wah) is a grain like crop originally derived from South America. Majority of the quinoa in the world is grown on the altiplano, a huge, cold, barren 14,000-foot Andean plateau across parts of Bolivia and Peru. A true grain comes from a plant that is a member of the grass family but quinoa is actually a seed but it is commonly referred to as a grain and is prepared like one. It does not contain any gluten and is great if you are gluten-free, trying diet with no grains or simply want to change it up from your standard rice dishes, quinoa is a great substitute.
It is high in protein, has essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus & iron and contains the 8 essential amino acids. 1 cup of quinoa cooked contains about 18.4 grams of protein, so it is a great way to boost your protein intake, especially as a vegetarian:)
Quinoa in its natural state has a bitter tasting coating, so you should rinse it throughly before cooking. Quinoa has a light fluffy texture when cooked, and has a mild nutty flavour. I love it!
I use it in salads, in vegetable burgers or in place of my rice in dishes. Quinoa comes in either a red or white "grain and you can also buy quinoa flour and flakes, for cooking or to use as a breakfast cereal:)
I recently went to Tasmania to check out the only local organic quinoa farm, Kindred Organics. I had the pleasure to spend the afternoon with an earthly and intelligent Lauran and Henriette. They migrated from Europe many years ago and had run a conventional farm for a long time when they decided to convert to organic. It matched their philosophies of nutrition and healing properties of our foods. They said it was a hard period of conversion and they had to overcome challenges of growing the quinoa on the land but they now have thriving hillsides of the beautiful crop. It seriously is beautiful. The red hues paint the surrounding properties, as if covered in flowers.
We walked amongst it and I felt like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz in between towering red plants that go on for as far as my eye could see.
There has been some controversial news surrounding the increase in the popularity to quinoa and what that means to the South American populations. I think it is fantastic that now we can source such a nutritious food source locally!!
Check KINDRED ORGANICS out and find a supplier near you.
Below is some inspiration on how to use quinoa in your daily diet. Yum!