What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is called the grain of the Andean Indians. But in fact, quinoa is not a grain, but a pseudo-grain crop, or, more simply, quinoa. For a Russian person, quinoa in the diet is not God knows what news. But quinoa is still slightly different from its northern swan sister.

Newcomer from South America

The shores of the legendary Lake Titicaca are considered the birthplace of quinoa. There quinoa grows in the form of tall bushes. In the local Indians, quinoa is included in the diet along with corn and potatoes, and is not considered to be something delicious. The seeds of quinoa are eaten, outwardly very reminiscent of buckwheat grains, only of different colors. The color of quinoa seeds varies by cultivar, and the seeds can be whitish, red, brownish, or black. The top of the quinoa seed has a bitter shell. Therefore, it is imperative to get rid of saponins – bitter substances before cooking anything from quinoa. To do this, rinse the quinoa seeds thoroughly in clean water. Saponins have made quinoa an almost invulnerable plant for rodents and other pests: no one likes to eat bitter seeds. Therefore, the planting of quinoa is practically nothing and no one threatens, and its yield is almost always high.

Simple and tasty

Although it is not a grain crop, quinoa seeds are used as grain. The boiled quinoa seeds become almost transparent and quadruple in size. And cooking quinoa is very easy and quick: just 15 minutes of boiling in salted water, and the crumbly side dish is ready. When cooked, quinoa seeds have a delicate nutty flavor and a pleasant grainy texture. And germination of quinoa seeds generally takes 2-3 hours. Quinoa is great for various salads and fillings, and also fully replaces rice in pilaf and bulgur. Like any healthy food, quinoa has recently gained immense popularity, and is included in the finest dishes in the most expensive restaurants in the world.

Two very important benefits of quinoa are its high protein content and the absolute absence of gluten. This makes quinoa an essential food for vegans and those who are gluten intolerant. The ease of growing and the absence of pests makes quinoa a plant of great potential for countries facing food problems. Quinoa is also seriously considered as a plant capable of providing protein and trace elements to members of interstellar expeditions. 

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