Quinoa, (pronounced KEEN-wah) native to South America, is a gluten-free pseudo-grain; a high-protein, high-fibre seed which has grain-like characteristics. It contains all of the 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. You can find it in stores in 3 colours; red, black and white. It is high in manganese, copper, phosphorous & magnesium and is a good source of iron, zinc, B vitamins & folate. The health benefits don’t end there however; quinoa contains powerful antioxidants, such as quercetin and haempferol which are important for reducing inflammation.
Quinoa is also easy to cook & very versatile.
Quinoa seeds are naturally covered with a coating of bitter-tasting saponins that need to be washed off before cooking. If you don’t do this you might end up with an unpleasant-tasting, difficult to digest pan of quinoa. I say ‘might’, because some quinoa seeds might have been mechanically pre-washed before packaging.
For this milk use preferably sprouted or cooked quinoa. I use sprouted quinoa, to preserve the enzymes. It is a light-textured milk and has a sort of grassy taste to it, which is somewhat masked by the dates & vanilla.
½ cup dried quinoa (sprouted or cooked)
2 cups water
pinch Himalayan salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract powder
1 Medjool date
Soak the quinoa overnight or for 6-8 hours.
Rinse the seeds & throw away the soaking water.
Sprout the quinoa for 12 hours. (optional)
Blend with 2 cups of pure water in a high-powered blender for 1-2 minutes.
Strain through a nut milk bag or a large piece of cheesecloth.
Squeeze as much of the milk as possible through the cloth.
Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge.
Consume within 2-3 days.
How to sprout quinoa:
Wash & rinse the quinoa.
Put it in a glass bowl & cover with water.
Soak 8-12 hours.
Drain & rinse.
Leave in the covered strainer to sprout 12 hours.
Rinse again and it’s ready to use.
How to cook quinoa: Follow the steps for sprouting but instead of leaving the quinoa for 12 hours to sprout, add the rinsed & drained seeds to 2 cups of boiling water & simmer (do not stir), uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then remove the pan from the heat & cover it for 5 minutes so the steam finishes the job. Fluff it up with a fork, & you’re ready to go.
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