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Quinoa: The King of Seeds

Ancient food: Quinoa salad
Quinoa is the king of seeds and thanks to its health benefits trophied as superfood.  It wouldn’t be a superfood if it wasn’t for its delicious variety. It is perfect for salads, a suitable substitute for rice or potatoes, and a beautiful addition in cereals. Let’s explore the SUPER in quinoa.

Healthy heart
Quinoa contains healthy fats such as omega 3, is a good source of fibre, and is high in anti-oxidants; all qualities that contribute to a healthier heart.

Building block
Our entire body depends on proteins. They provide important building blocks for our skin, organs, muscles, blood, neurotransmitters and more. These building blocks,  9 essential amino acids,   can be found in protein rich foods such as meat, cheese, nuts, legumes, grains, eggs, seafood, soy, AND quinoa. Unlike a lot of non-animal based proteins quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids. That is why quinoa is a good source for delicious vegetarian dishes.

Anti-oxidant
Phyto nutrients are specific substances in plants that protect them from germs, fungi, bugs and other treats. These phytonutrients can also benefit our health. Phytonutrients in quinoa are:

Ferulic: antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from sun damage
Coumaric: is believed to be anti-cancerous in particular stomach cancer
Hydroxybenzoic:  cardio protective
Vanillic acid: blood pressure lowering anti-oxidant
Quercetin: anti-oxidant that is believed to lower blood pressure, to have anti-cancerous properties, support the respiratory system, and promote overall health.
Kaempferol:  believed to be cardio protective, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous

Types of quinoa
The origin of quinoa lies in the Andes of South America. More than 3,000 years ago the Inca’s started growing this potent seed with its nutty taste.  Quinoa is gluten free. In total there are over 120 types of quinoa. Most common types are:

Red quinoa: its firmer structure makes red quinoa very suitable for salads
White quinoa: is more moist and therefor better suitable as a rice substitute
Black quinoa: has a slightly sweeter taste than red and white quinoa

Recipe: vegetarian quinoa salad
This salad is easy to make. Delicious as a meal or side dish for lunch or dinner.
 

Ingredients:
1 cup red quinoa
1 medium size eggplant
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 Medium size avocado
1 hand full of green olives
1 hand full of cherry tomatoes
Spring onion
Red chilly (remove seed and chop in fine pieces)
Lemon and lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Mint leaves
(Optional soft goat cheese)

Method:

Make sure you wash the quinoa first. It can be coated with a natural toxin saponin. This layer protects quinoa from sun rays and birds.
Slowly cook 1/3 quinoa in 2/3 water until the water is absorbed and evaporated. The quinoa should be firm and tender. Let the quinoa cool down.
Dry roast cubes of eggplant in a frying pan until brown. You do not need to use oil for this.
Mix all the ingredients through the quinoa. Top with lemon juice, olive oil, spring onion, and mint leaves and mix well. Season with pepper and salt.

Enjoy
 

Written by Jan Denecke : Rozelle 

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