Quinoa pronounced (KEEN-WA) according to Wikipedia is not even a true cereal or grain it is actually a pseudo-cereal as it is not a member of the grass family. It is a species of Goosefoot grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds…..of course that’s why I like it! No seriously, my friend Katherine introduced me to Quinoa I had never tried it before and I wasn’t sure I wanted to but there is good reason to make Quinoa a part of your diet which I will dig deeper into in a second and if you go on the web there are now recipes springing up all over the place with Quinoa in it I am going to share my simple recipe with you today and how I prepare it. This is very similar to oatmeal but there are a few processes I do differently for one Quinoa does not cook as quick as oatmeal so you want to see the circle puff up when you are cooking similar to how it looks in this pot here:
2 C. water
1 C. Quinoa
1/3 C. raisins or currants or craisins whatever you have on hand
2 tsp. cinnamon ( I like mine very cinnamony)
Nuts are optional (slivered almonds/pecans/walnuts) are all good!
2 TBSP. brown sugar or drizzle some honey on top whatever you prefer!
If you really want to make this special you could add some nutmeg and vanilla as well but I would just use a pinch of nutmeg and a tsp. of vanilla. I rarely do this as I love the nutty flavor of the Quinoa.
Okay cook this all up and when it starts bubbling turn it down and let it simmer for about 20 minutes you want the little grains to have a circle on them and you want them to puff up a bit also right at the end I add about 2 TBSP. of brown sugar, you could substitute honey as well. Oops I almost forgot one thing at this point it will start getting a little dry and that’s when I add about a half cup of milk and stir it all up again to heat through and then its done! Remember my motto I like everything to be simple and economical some might say that organic Quinoa is not all that economical but remember its a very nutrient dense food so you only need a half cup to make a serving – you really get a huge value for what you pay for it! Also this is an easy recipe for anyone who doesn’t really like to cook. I make a big pot on Sunday or Monday night and we can eat out of it for a couple of days.
I also want to share with all of you some of the health benefits of Quinoa so you know in addition to it tasting wonderful there are some great health benefits of this grain it’s probably why it’s so popular right now!
Benefits of Quinoa
- Safe for people who are gluten intolerant
- Magnesium (good for your blood vessels and pressure)
- Fiber we all know that we are supposed to get more of that
- It has manganese and copper which are antioxidants
- It is a prebiotic meaning it is good for your intestinal system it helps keep it balanced
- It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for the human body
- It sustained Incan armies!