Quinoa (keen-wa) originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years.
Quinoa has been called a superfood. Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein and contains essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Quinoa's protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.
COOKING & STORAGE
Place the quinoa seeds in a fine-meshed strainer and run cold water over the quinoa while gently rubbing the seeds together in your hands.
To cook the quinoa, add one cup 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 for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 10 minutes before stirring with fork.
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.
If you desire the quinoa to have a nuttier flavor, you can dry roast it before cooking; to dry roast, place it in a skillet over medium-low heat and stir constantly for five minutes.
Quinoa should be stored in an airtight container and will keep for approximately three to six months if stored in the refrigerator.