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Graina Bulk Food Store: Gluten-Free Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced ‘kin-wa’) is a gluten free grain belonging to the amaranth family. It originated in the South American region and is now mainly produced in Peru, Bolivia and the USA. While quinoa may seem like a fad food that has only popped onto our radars recently, it has actually been domesticated for around 4000 years. It was first utilised by early Andean cultures and became a staple food within their diet. A little later the Incas proclaimed the grain sacred and gave it the title of ‘mother of all grains’. So if this were the case why then have we only just heard about this miraculous grain? Well you see (now donning my professor skivvy) during the Spanish conquest of South America they banned the indigenous people from growing quinoa declaring it to be ‘food for Indians’. In its stead they were forced to grow wheat, hence its widespread use (much to the detriment of our overall health).
Quinoa has multiple uses when it comes to cooking. You can for example use it in cereal, deserts, salads and as substitute or accompaniment to rice. When cooking quinoa in the pot (the most conventional way) use 1 part grain to 1.5 parts water. People often dismiss quinoa because of its mushy texture but this is due to many using the same grain to water ratio as rice (1:2). Well cooked quinoa should have a light fluffy texture.
In terms of benefits there are numerous, quinoa is an extremely nutrient dense food and can check a lot of boxes. It is especially important for vegans and vegetarians to incorporate into their meal plan due to the nutrient gaps in their diet left by meat. The reason for this is that quinoa provides a complete protein, meaning it contains all amino acids. Without eating meat this can be a nightmare plan around.
See below for a basic profile:
It is also a great source of vitamin B and minerals (iron & magnesium).
Quinoa is surprisingly affordable. Add to this, if you bring your own jar or container to fill at Graina you will receive a further 5% discount. It can be sourced both online and in-store at Graina in the following forms:
- 1.White Quinoa Grain (rice replacement or in salads/side dishes)
- 2.Black Quinoa Grain (slightly firmer and more earthy flavour than white)
- 3.Tri Colour Quinoa Grain (combination of black, red and white grains)
- 4.White Flakes (great in cereal or as porridge substitute)
- 5.Puffed Grain (use to top cereal, salad or deserts)
- 6.Flour (healthy gluten free flour)
- 7.Pasta (healthy gluten free pasta)
Simply by replacing a few dietary staples such as; bread, rice and pasta, flour and processed grains you can get yourself on the right path to a healthier, happier lifestyle. Sugar and processed carbs are the number one catalyst for a sedentary low energy existence, the sooner you give them the boot and munch on some quinoa the better you and your family will feel. It’s never too late to make a change.
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