Tips and Facts about this Little Supergrain
In 2013, the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) officially declared that year as “The International Year of the Quinoa”; an initiative brought forward by the Bolivian government, with other supporting neighboring South and Central American countries. But facts aside, let’s get to know different things about this little popular super grain.
Origins and Facts
Quinoa is rooted in South America, specifically the Andes region which is currently divided between the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Peru remains the largest commercial producer of quinoa (harvesting 41,079 metric tons), followed by Bolivia the second largest (harvesting 29,500 metric tons). Together, these two South American countries produced nearly 99% of all commercially grown quinoa in 2010.
5 Facts about Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced ‘kee-n-wa’) is a quick-cooking, gluten-free whole grain.
Quinoa grows in a rainbow of colors, but the most commonly available are red quinoa, black quinoa and white quinoa. White quinoa tends to cook up fluffier, while red quinoa and black quinoa have a crunchier texture and the grains don’t stick together as much.
Quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition. This type of complete protein is rarely found in plant foods, though common in meats.
In comparison to cereal grasses like wheat, quinoa is higher in fat content and can provide valuable amounts of heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fat (in the form of oleic acid).
Quinoa is coated with a compound that would taste pretty bitter if you didn’t wash it off first, so rinsing is highly recommended.