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Quinoa: The Andean Mighty Seed

Quinoa Andean 1

Contrary to what you might belive, quinoa is not a grain but a seed.  This highly nutritious seed native to Peru and Bolivia behaves almost exactly as a grain and therefore can be cooked in pretty much the same way that you would cook rice, pasta or oats.  One serving of this tiny seed (1/4 cup) yields about 170 robustly nutritious calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 saturated fat, only 15 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of fiber and surprisingly 5 grams of high quality protein.  It also provides with about 10% of the daily recommendation for iron!

Besides its nutty and delicious flavor, one the best things I love about quinoa is how easy it is to cook and just how creative you can get with it.  Anything from cold or warm salads, stir fries, soups or stews and also breakfast options.

In this recipe, I wanted to make a creamy porridge for breakfast.  Dried cranberries, lemon zest and some pumpkin spice made this a winner!

Quinoa Andean 2Ingredients & Method  (Yields: 4 Servings)

  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups of milk
  • ¼ cup craisins (unsweetened)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Using low-medium heat, combine all ingredients but the lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching. Cook for 25 minutes until mixture has thickened.  Add more milk if needed until the desired consistency. Add lemon zest and remove from heat. Serve warm or chilled.

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