The UN has declared 2013 ‘International Year of Quinoa.’ Why? Why not! This fabulous ancient grain would have to be one of our most popular products and a fast growing staple in pantries around the world! The UN wanted to recognise the holistic benefits quinoa agriculture has provided. And acknowledge those Andean communities who have protected and preserved this ancient grain for present and future generations, through their traditional knowledge and practices.
Why Quinoa is being recognised?
- Quinoa has provided food security and nutrition to various regions worldwide, especially in those countries where the population does not have access to protein sources or where production conditions are limited.
- This Incan grain has exceptional nutritional qualities. Quinoa is the only plant food that contains all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins, contains no gluten, and more iron than any other grain.
- Quinoa is a tolerant and resistant crop, making it adaptable to many different regions around the world. Read more about how quinoa is resistant below!
- Quinoa agriculture has contributed in the fight against hunger and poverty in South America.
Honest to Goodness Quinoa Varieties
We stock organic quinoa from both Peru and Australia in our range! Our Organic Peruvian Quinoa range includes: organic white, organic red, organic black, organic tricolour and organic rolled/flaked quinoa.
Our Organic Australian Quinoa was the first commercial organic quinoa crop in Australia. This award winning crop is grown by Kindred Organics in Tasmania by the Damen family.
Read the whole Australian Quinoa – Kindred Organics story here…
Why is quinoa so popular? It’s so versatile, easy to cook, nutritious and delicious!
Quinoa pronounced ‘keen-wa’ was cultivated and eaten by pre-Incan cultures 6000 years ago. The Incas considered it magical because of its high nutritional value calling it ‘Chisiya mama’ – ‘Mother Grain.’ The main producers of quinoa in the world are Bolivia, Peru and the United States. Although quinoa production is expanding to other countries including Europe, Asia and as we all know, Australia!
Quinoa Nutrition Fact. Essential amino acids are found in the centre of the quinoa grain, unlike other grains like rice or wheat, in which they are located in their outer layer or hull.
Quinoa is naturally resistant
Quinoa has a natural bitter coating called ‘saponin‘ that protects it from birds, insects and the intense high-altitude sunlight where it is grown. This coating must be removed to make the grain palatable. Most imported quinoa is usually prewashed and dried at origin, like our Organic Quinoa’s from Peru. Our Australian quinoa is not, so it is essential to wash the grain well to rinse off the saponin.
Tip to removing natural saponin: Rinse the grain in a fine strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear.
How to cook quinoa
Add 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or stock, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 15mins. Once cooked a tiny white spiral appears encircling the grain. Visit our recipe section for quinoa recipes and serving ideas…
- Make quinoa porridge for breakfast and top it with your favourite fresh fruit or berries.
- Use rolled quinoa as a gluten free cereal base.
- Substitute potatoes or rice with a nutritious quinoa side dish, try this Coriander, Parsley, Lemon & Organic Quinoa Salad recipe!
- Add cooked quinoa to your favourite soup or stew, try this Organic Quinoa with Egyptian Spiced Chicken recipe!
- Bake gluten free desserts, try this Quinoa Fruit Crumble recipe!
What is the difference between Quinoa and Amaranth?
Nutritionally quinoa and amaranth are very similar; they are higher in protein than rice and contain all your essential amino acids unlike most grains. Both grains originated in South America; they both sprout a little tail once cooked and are gluten-free. From a culinary perspective, quinoa is a much more versatile grain. Amaranth is a smaller grain and is usually used to thicken soups or casseroles. They can both be mixed with rice and served combined.
What is the difference between white and coloured quinoa?
Apart from the colour, red, black and white quinoa are very similar and can be used in the same recipes. Red quinoa has a slightly more fibrous texture and is a little crunchier once cooked. It will take about the same time to cook both types of quinoa. This is the same with black quinoa.
What is your favourite way to enjoy quinoa?
If you love quinoa as much as we do, we’d love to hear your tips, tricks and delicious delights for enjoying quinoa