Quinoa has established itself as one of the foremost super foods in the world. I first came across it seven years ago and immediately started eating it as a regular part of my diet. Originating from the Inca tribes of the Andes 3,000 years ago, it certainly took a long time for the rest of the world to catch on. Quinoa has done just that. No self-respecting health guru would dare leave it out, as one of the must have ingredients in their eating regime. But things have not always been quite so positive for this fantastic seed. Let me explain why.
Quinoa is as good as you can get
We live in a world where there are food fads hitting the news on a daily basis. We are told that we must eat cabbage soup, green juices, acai berry and so on. The people and companies selling these no doubt wonderful foods make a lot of noise in the market place. Later on you wonder what all the fuss was about.
So at the same time as this has been happening, quinoa has slowly risen in popularity to overtake all these short term food fads. There is one very good reason for this. Quinoa is just about as good as you can get in terms of nutrition. It is a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids. Many of the other faddy foods are simply good in one area of nutrition. Quinoa is an all-round great thing to eat. It’s one of the good guys!
Quinoa is now very accessible
When I used to speak to friends and family about quinoa, most people went Huh? They couldn’t spell it and they couldn’t say it. There was no way they were ever going to eat it. There was also the problem of buying it. No one stocked quinoa except those weird health food shops that everyone is afraid to go into. Nowadays quinoa is almost mainstream. You can buy it in supermarkets and small delicatessens everywhere. If a shop didn’t stock it today, you would wonder why not. In France I have seen it in huge sacks so that customers can buy it by the kilo.
The quinoa that is being sold now is also better, because it is pre-rinsed before it is packed for sale. This makes the whole preparation of quinoa much quicker. Most quinoa comes from Bolivia and Ecuador under the fair trade route. But there are an increasing number of growers in the US. There are also all types of quinoa products. You can buy quinoa in a bag with herbs ready to cook. I’ve bought quinoa milk, quinoa bread and quinoa breakfast cereal ready to eat over the years. I have also seen it in on restaurant menus in Spain and the UK.
There are many excellent ways to cook quinoa
When I was first offered quinoa, the recipe on the side of the packet was not inspiring at all. It was basically some quinoa boiled up in a chicken stock. I looked at my plate and thought that I would only eat it this once and then throw the packet away. I am glad I persevered. There are many different ways to prepare quinoa and include them in your favourite meals.
The most popular recipe style by far is quinoa salad. That is because it is the easiest to prepare and the most versatile way to eat quinoa. You can take any favourite vegetables and meats and mix them all up together with a serving of quinoa, and you are ready to go. The second most popular type of quinoa recipe is the quinoa stir fry meal. Once you have prepared your quinoa by boiling it up with water for ten minutes you can throw it into a pan and fry it in oil with almost anything. This is a great meal when the fridge is nearly empty and you need to use things up. You can also spice it up as much as you want and it will taste really good. There are even more recipes for desserts, breakfasts and dinners. Quinoa is more versatile than rice and cous cous because of the range of meals you can use it in.
2 ways that quinoa hasn’t changed in the last seven years.
Firstly, quinoa is still too expensive to buy. It is excellent value but still not cheap. I understood this when no one was eating it and no one was buying it. But there is now no excuse for high priced quinoa. So I am beginning to think that the retailers are keeping prices artificially high for reasons of their own. I’ve heard that quinoa is hard to harvest and pack. I agree. I found harvesting my own very difficult. But it is no harder than harvesting rice with your legs knee deep in water. Look at the price of rice.
The second way that quinoa hasn’t changed is in the ridiculous recipes that people are producing for it. They are so fancy and complicated that no one will ever make these recipes. Quinoa is a simple food that should be prepared and eaten simply. You can put some in any meal you are making, from salads to casseroles, and desserts and snacks. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination or work. Still there are people who insist on writing trendy quinoa recipes that have more than twenty ingredients. You could spend your weeks’ pay on producing their quinoa recipes. Keep quinoa simple and start getting to know how good it is for your health.