At the beginning of this post I must say hands up that I am not a nutritionist. I have found a website that deals more fully with phytates and quinoa. I am just waiting for permission from the owner to quote and use some of her research. Watch this space. (You can watch this space automatically by clicking the RSS button and following the instructions)
What I can tell you is that quinoa contains phytates. The content in quinoa compared to other grains and seeds is not too high. The phytate content of food reduces your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients that are contained in some foods. This means that even if you know that quinoa is a super food and contains lots of good ingredients, your body cannot take it in because the phytates inhibit this process.
The whole discussion of phytates is important because it is all very well knowing how good your food is for you. You need to know that you are preparing the food in such a way as to release the minerals and vitamins into your body.
To overcome this problem with quinoa you can do one of 2 things. Firstly you can simply cook it in the normal way. Secondly you can sprout quinoa. This breaks down the phytates in the quinoa. Many people make a habit of soaking all types of grains and seeds overnight before cooking them. I do not believe this is needed for quinoa. Having said that if you want to eat quinoa raw you will find it is soft enough to eat after 12 hours soaking without any further need for preparation.
Next post will be something simple – a good solid quinoa recipe I promise:)