(Pronounced keen wa) is one of the ancient staple foods of the Incas, and has been used for thousands of years in South America. If you have never tried it go to your health shop and buy some, its delicious!
Botanically it is not a grain but it can be used like one and is gluten free.
Compared to other grains it has the highest protein content (similar to amaranth), also high in calcium, it contains iron, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamins B and E.
Protective against cancer and high cholesterol, antioxidant, relieves constipation due to fibre content, nourishes the body due to high nutrient content, especially good for vegetarians and vegans, useful for breastfeeding mothers, useful for balancing blood sugar levels.
Wash thoroughly to remove saponins.
Cook using two and a half cups water to one cup quinoa, add a pinch of salt. Boil for about 20 minutes, the grains should go translusent when cooked. Serve as you would rice.
Alternatively quinoa can be sprouted and added to salads.
If ground, it can be used as a gluten free flour in baking.