This continuing series features a gluten free grain: Quinoa! This is not only becoming popular due to its gluten free label but many are using it to replace rice and add new zest to their food dishes. So let's delve into the benefits and ways to use this 'new' grain on the block!
Nutritionally, quinoa is an excellent grain. It is loaded with protein and the amino acid lysine. It contains about 17% protein, which is more than any other grain. Quinoa is also very high in iron, and it is an important source of calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
To prepare quinoa for cooking:
Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the saponins* are removed. Add one part of the grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 15-18 minutes.
One cup of quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare. When cooking is complete, you will notice that the grains have become translucent, and the white germ has partially detached itself, appearing like a white-spiraled tail.
You can enhance the flavor of the quinoa by using chicken broth or beef broth instead of water. This makes a great side dish for your meal. You would serve this much as you would serve rice as a side dish!
Quinoa can be served cold or warm and even frozen and reheated for later use!
Based on 1/4 cup of dry Quinoa Grain:
* Total Fat = 2.5 g
* Saturated Fat = 0.25 g
* Cholesterol = 0 mg
* Sodium = 9 mg
* Carbohydrate = 29.25 g
* Dietary Fiber = 2.5 g
* Protein = 5.5 g
* Gluten Free
This grain will mill very quickly in your Nutri Mill Grain Grinder! The quinoa flour can be used with your wheat flour and as a base for gluten-free baking. For gluten-free, it would be combined with sorghum flour, tapioca and potato starch to create a gluten-free baking mix. See recipe below for baking mix!
Using your Nutri Mill Grain grinder will help you to frugally enhance your family's diet with this wonderful little grain! My grain grinder has helped to make all my baked goods taste so much better with the fresh flour. I would encourage you to begin today milling your own fresh flour! You will be amazed at how much better your baked goods will taste with all the great nutrition these grains add to your food.
*What are saponins?
Quinoa in its natural state has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making it unpalatable.
The first step in preparing quinoa is to remove the saponins a process that requires soaking the grain in water for a few hours, then changing the water and resoaking, or rinsing it in ample running water either in a fine strainer or in cheesecloth. Removal of the saponin helps with digestion; the soapy nature of the compound makes it act as a laxative.
Most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed for convenience.