Quinua El grano Sagrado de los Andes,

Did you know that 2013 is the International Year of the Quinoa?

Do you know what Quinua or Quinoa is?

Quinua in Spanish or Quinoa,  come from the Quechua kinwa. It is a grain, a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal

Beautiful, isn’t it?  Quinoa was important to the diet of pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, around 3000 years ago. Quinoa has been an important staple in the Andes.  The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements”.

During the Spanish conquest, the Spanish colonists scorned quinoa as “food for Indians”, and prohibited its cultivation, due to its status within indigenous religious ceremonies. In fact, the conquistadores forbade quinoa cultivation for a time and the Incas were forced to grow wheat instead.

It is interesting that more than 500 years ago, Spanish treated Quinoa as “food for Indians”, forbidding the cultivation, well they really did not know much about the Super Food they were missing.

Some facts that  you may like to know about Quinoa,

  • Quinoa is a source of complete protein
  • Today, people appreciate quinoa for its nutritional value. 
  • Quinoa is considered a superfood.
  • It is a good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. 
  • Quinoa is used in vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. 
  • Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.
  • There is many ways to prepare quinoa, you can have it as cereal for breakfast. Cooked like rice or perhaps in a salad, a casserole or soup?  
  • Baking with Quinoa? Yes indeed, Quinoa flour is great for baking
  • I brought from  home, pito de quinoa that is like allready cooked, dryed and milled quinoa. It is good in shakes.
  • My mom sends the kids chocolate bars with quinoa. too bad we ate them all to even share pictures.
  • And the favorite one is Quinoa Coa that is a mix of cocoa and quinoa

  • In Bolivia, Quinoa is subsidize food for pregnant and nursing mothers. Cool isn’t it?

 

Last week I cooked it as rice, here is a picture of how good our dish looked. It is Salmon, with Quinoa, Asparagus, Carrots. 

 It was healthy and very yummy!

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