Anolon Academy

Grain Power

By Dominique Rizzo   

Quinoa is a rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavour when cooked.

Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

It is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas” that has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. The Incas considered it a sacred food and referred to it as the “mother seed.” As happens throughout history, things changed when the Spanish conquerors destroyed the fields in which quinoa was grown; made it illegal for the Indians to grow quinoa. The cultivation of quinoa was all but extinguished.

Now we are lucky enough to be enjoying it and its health benefits in the 21st century.

Eating quinoa on a regular basis is known to help ease migraine headaches, relax blood vessels for cardiovascular health, provide antioxidant protection by guarding other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals and is an excellent source of fibre and protective against breast cancer.

For a lovely toasted flavour to the grain, try rinsing the quinoa and then toasting it to get rid of the green, raw, and slightly bitter taste this grain may have.