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The Famous Quinoa
Quinoa has become hugely popular in recent years. And that's a good thing because it is a highly nutritious food. Considered a grain, it is actually a pseudo-cereal because it is not in the same botanical family as grains such as wheat. It also differs from other grains by its unique nutrient content.
Fibres and Proteins
In terms of fibre, quinoa is comparable to other whole grains. A 125 ml (1/2 cup) portion of cooked quinoa provides us with 1.5 grams of fibre. With regard to protein, quinoa has a higher protein and more complete essential amino acids content than other grains. Vitamins and minerals are also part of its benefits!
For 125 ml (1/2cup) of cooked quinoa:
Red or White
There are two varieties of quinoa: white and red. The differences are minimal at the nutrient level. However, taste is another story. Red quinoa has a slightly more pronounced taste; some would even say a nutty flavour. It's great to mix the two for our quinoa recipes. The cooking time is the same.
Saponin is a compound that plants produce naturally and that is found on the grains. It gives the effect of a thin white film. Some studies show that this compound might have adverse effects on the body and also prevent the optimal assimilation of quinoa's nutritive compounds, including iron. To eliminate it, all you need to do is to rinse quinoa under cold water. In any case, to remove dust and other unwanted compounds, you should rinse all grains.
The new kid on the block ... kaniwa! A relation of quinoa, kaniwa (or "baby quinoa") may be the next hit! Similar in taste to quinoa (mild nutty flavour), kinawa is crisper and firmer to the bite. It's as high in both fibre and protein as quinoa but the plant has no saponin on the seeds. Yours to discover!
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