Botanical Name: Chenopodium quinoa
Origin: Bolivia or Peru
Production: whole seed, milled
Quinoa is often referred to as a “pseudocereal” (just like buckwheat, amaranth, and chia) because it is technically not a grain but a seed, yet similar to true cereals when it comes to flavor, cooking, and nutritional profile. First domesticated and highly cherished as the “mother of all grains” by ancient civilizations in the Peruvian Andes, quinoa is still wildly popular and cultivated throughout the world as an important source of nutrition. Botanically, it is related to beets, chard, and spinach, and thus the leaves of the quinoa plant are edible as well. The grain comes in a range of colors (white, yellow, orange, red, black) and has a natural coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making them unpalatable for birds (a beneficial effect during cultivation) as well as humans. All quinoa sold commercially has usually been washed and mechanically processed to remove this coating. Interestingly, in South America, the removed saponins are used as detergent for washing clothes and as antiseptic to promote healing of skin injuries.
Qualities: quinoa is an important source of high quality gluten-free vegetable protein and unlike most grains, it is a “complete” protein, containing all of the essential amino acids you must get through your diet. It is a particularly good source of lysine, which contributes to immune system health, muscle repair, and may even reduce anxiety. In addition, quinoa is a valuable source of heart healthy fatty acids, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants offering powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, Vitamins B and E, as well as minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. Its high content of both soluble and insoluble fiber may aid in keeping blood sugar levels balanced and lowering cholesterol levels.
Common use: quinoa’s exceptional nutritional profile, delicious mild taste, and culinary versatility makes it a healthy and easy favorite in any kitchen. Similar to whole quinoa (white, red, or tri-color), and quinoa flakes, you can substitute quinoa flour for most grain flours in both sweet and savory recipes. It has the same mild, nutty flavor and adds a moist texture that works well with a variety of flavors. It is excellent for making gluten free pasta (try our many shapes of quinoa noodles) as well as a variety of baked goods such as pancakes, bread, muffins, and crackers.
Storage: keeps well in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark location
Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This product has been packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, and other potential allergens.