The quinoa grain is a high protein grain and a complete protein source. The health benefits of quinoa make it a very attractive food for Vegans or for people who want to include more protein in their diets.
What is Quinoa? Quinoa is an Ancient food of the Inca Indians and is native to the Andes. This high protein grain is technically a seed and it is related to leafy greens such as spinach and swiss chard (which means it's probably high in oxalic acid). I call it a pseudo grain.
Being one of the best sources of protein in the plant world is definitely one of the health benefits of quinoa. The quinoa grain or quinoa seed can grow in harsh environments. And quinoa comes in different colors such as yellow, red, brown, and black
The Health Benefits of Quinoa
The Quinoa Grain is high in Protein (approx. 12 to 18%) and has a high content of the valuable Essential Amino Acid Lysine (most grains are deficient in this essential amino acid).
Lysine aids in the Building of Muscle Tissue and the Absorption of Calcium. Lysine also helps in the Production of Enzymes and Hormones.
Quinoa is considered a Complete Protein because it contains all of the Nine Essential Amino Acids.
Quinoa is Easy to Digest and is Gluten Free
Quinoa is Not in the Grass Family which makes it beneficial for people who cannot tolerate common grains like wheat, rye, barley, corn, and oats
Possesses larger amounts of Iron, Manganese, Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin E than most other grains
Quinoa is Not Hybridized (unlike common wheat) nor is it genetically engineered, therefore Quinoa Remains Pure and Wholesome
You Should Soak Quinoa!
Soaking quinoa in acidic water for 12 to 24 hours will help to break down anti-nutrients found in the quinoa grain.
Then I would drain the soaking water and rinse quinoa before soaking again in clean acidic water for another day. Then drain and rinse in a fine sieve before cooking.
Your quinoa will then have a better texture when cooked and it can easily be used as a replacement for other grains - especially rice.
What is Quinoa Saponins?
This high protein grain or seed has a unique coating called saponin that serves to protect it from the birds and the environment.
If the saponins aren't removed, quinoa will have a bitter taste and will be somewhat toxic.
If the quinoa that you purchased, has not had its saponins removed - simply put quinoa into a fine sieve and rinse under cold running water for a few minutes. Then ferment for a day or two.
This helps to make quinoa more nutritious by removing it's anti-nutrients, so that you can enjoy the health benefits of quinoa.