Also known as “Andean rice”, this is one of the so-called “superfoods” provided by nature. It is a small-grained grain with a nutty flavor, gluten-free, and provides a healthy dose of fiber and nutrients. What you need to know for perfect cooking.
Like potatoes, quinoa was one of his staple foods Pre-Inca peoples of the Andes. Traditionally, quinoa grains are roasted and made into flour, which is used to make different types of bread. They can be cooked and added to soups, used as cereal or pasta, and even fermented to make beer or chicha, a traditional Andean drink. When cooked, quinoa takes on a nutty flavor.
It has been cultivated in America since before the Spanish conquest. It was actually a staple of the ancient Inca diet, but was banned for a long time because it was associated with pagan rituals.
This cereal is grown in many areas today Latin America From Peru, Bolivia to Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. It is an annual plant that adapts very well to different environmental conditions.
Quinoa belongs to the spinach family and is hermaphrodite, meaning it is self-fertilizing. It can even be found in 4000 meters above sea levelIt reaches a height between 1 and 3 meters, its flowers are small and have no petals. It occurs in yellow, black, pink, white and orange colors.
Quinoa: complete food
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that is a complete protein, which means it supplies the body with all 9 essential amino acids it needs. Half a cup of cooked quinoa contains 111 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. We recommend it as food in very cold places, thanks high calorie valueit gives energy to the body and is very easily digested.
This cereal is rich in iron, potassium and riboflavin. It also contains many B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper and others. It is one of the greatest sources of protein and contains more minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium than other cereals.
Its calcium contribution is greater than that of milk and it contains up to 50% more protein than other cereals, which is why the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as a product that can be evaluated in the same way as milk.
Tips for making the perfect quinoa
1. rinse well. Quinoa grows with a bitter protective coating, saponin, which fortunately can be easily rinsed off. Most quinoa sold in supermarkets is pre-rinsed, but a quick soak never hurts. To do this, place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer for a few seconds under cold tap water. Shake off excess water and continue cooking.
two. Toast it for better taste. Toasting the quinoa for a few minutes before adding it to the boiling water gives it an even more intense nutty flavor. For every 1 ½ cups of quinoa, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of neutral oil. Place the oil in the pan over medium-low heat and when hot, add the quinoa. Stir constantly to prevent burning until just starting to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
3. Cook in a liquid other than water. To make quinoa, simply mix it with your liquid of choice, cover and simmer until done. The ratio is 2 cups of water or other cooking liquid to 1 cup of quinoa. Water is the easiest, cheapest and healthiest solution, low in sodium and usually free. Other products, such as chicken, mushroom or vegetable broth, can add a lot of flavor. After 1 cup of quinoa, you can hydrate with ½ cup of dry white wine and 1 and ½ cups of broth.
Four. Control the cooking time. Quinoa cooks quickly, in about 20 minutes. Some package directions say to turn off the heat, once the liquid boils, stir in the grains and the quinoa is ready. Another method is to bring the cooking liquid to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is ready when the grains split open to reveal the germ inside.
5. Separate the quinoa grains. To make the quinoa softer after it is cooked, separate the grains well with a fork.