nutrition | June 30, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
Quinoa (pronounced ‘KEEN-wah’) comes to us from the Incas in the Andes where it has been a staple food for over 7000 years. The Incas referred to quinoa as ‘mother of all grains’.
Quinoa has been called a pseudo-grain because its nutritional profile, preparation, and uses are similar to grains; however it is technically a seed rather than a “true” grain, and botanically closely related to Swiss chard and beets.
Quinoa crops have excellent nutritional value and capability of withstanding extreme environmental conditions. In recognition of the potential of quinoa to provide nutrition and food security to millions of malnourished people worldwide, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa.
Wholegrain. Even though quinoa is not a true grain, it falls into the definition of a whole grain, meaning it is unprocessed and contains the nutrient-rich embryo and endosperm of the seed.
These two outer parts contain most of the dietary fibre and other nutrients. Studies show that increased intake of whole grains is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Quinoa contains saponins. These are bitter-tasting, natural plant defense molecules found in the outer seed coat layer of quinoa that ward off microbial infection and insects. Rinsing the quinoa before cooking releases the saponins and eliminates the bitter taste. Some varieties of quinoa contain lower saponin content and may require less or no rinsing.
Quinoa replaces the bulgur wheat, traditionally used in this salad
In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients; add salt and pepper to taste.
Bazile, D., Pulvento, C., Verniau, A., et al. (2016). Worldwide Evaluations of Quinoa: Preliminary Results from Post International Year of Quinoa FAO Projects in Nine Countries. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 850.
Cooper, R. (2015). Re-discovering ancient wheat varieties as functional foods. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 5(3), 138–43.
Graf, B. L., Rojas-Silva, P., Rojo, L. E., et al. (2015). Innovations in Health Value and Functional Food Development of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 14(4), 431–445.
United States Department of Agriculture 2016, Food Composition Databases - Quinoa, cooked, USDA, retrieved June 16, 2017,
Van der Kamp, J. W., Poutanen, K., Seal, C. J., & Richardson, D. P. (2014). The HEALTHGRAIN definition of “whole grain”. Food & Nutrition Research, 58.