|Considered sacred by the Inca for it?s valuable life-supporting nutrients, quinoa (keen-wah) has flourished in the Peruvian Andes for over 5,000 years. Known in Quechua, the language of the Incas, as chisiya mama or "mother grain", quinoa is very rich in protein, 12%-18%, which is more than all other grains. Also, this protein is complete, containing all 9 amino acids which is very unusual for a plant source. Quinoa also does not contain gluten. Quinoa actually is not a true grain as it is not a member of the grass family. As a species, it is closely related to beets and spinach.
Quinoa is a major ingredient in AVEDA Damage Remedy products. But, it is also a delicious and nutritious food. Quinoa comes in a variety of colors-- white, black and red. Mixing at least 2 colors makes for a lovely presentation. The texture is light and fluffy, the taste is mild and slightly nutty making it a good alternative to rice or couscous. It also makes a nutritious breakfast food with the addition of fruits, nuts, honey or whatever you would normally add to your oatmeal.
Cooking quinoa couldn?t be easier. Most recipes will tell you to cook it like rice, and that certainly works. But what I like to do best is to put 2 cups of water or organic broth in a saucepan, add 1 cup of quinoa, put it over the lowest simmer heat on my stove (the one that never burns anything), cover with a tight fitting lid, and walk away to leave it for an hour or more. Perfect every time.