It has established itself as a ‘superfood’ and is a ‘must buy’ ingredient if you want to lose weight because it’s extremely rich in complete protein and complex carbs.
Where to find it
Quinoa should be obtainable in most health food shops these days and if not ask them to source it for you. Also look in the ‘health food’ sections of supermarkets. As more and more people are learning about its nutritional value, rice and other grains are fast being replaced with quinoa. There are 3 varieties of quinoa, the most common being white with red and black being the rarest, therefore difficult to find. You can buy it in different forms e.g. puffed, rolled into flakes (nice for breakfast)and whole. Apparently, the leaves are edible and taste similar to chard or silver beet.
Before preparing your meal make sure the quinoa is rinsed well because the surface contains a chemical called saponin that has a bitter taste and if left unwashed (a) would not be good for you and (b) wouldn’t taste nice. Most ready-to-buy quinoa will already be washed and have the saponin removed but it’s best to wash it anyway to be on the safe side. As with rice you shouldn’t over cook the grain, it should be firm in texture with a slightly nutty taste. To enjoy it at its best simply add your favourite herbs or spices and ingredients and voila, you have a nutritious meal high in fibre and rich in iron. To ring its praises further – for those of us trying to lose weight it not only cuts the calories but it keeps us feeling fuller for longer!