I don’t eat many grains in my diet, in fact I’m almost grain free. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is not a seed as most people think, it is still considered a grain. However, for a grain it contains a substantial amount of protein, which is why I’ll occasionally add a serving in my weekly menu for variety….and because it tastes good and is so versatile! You can sprout it and turn it into a cereal so to speak, cook it kinda like porridge, add it to salads, use it as a substitute for rice and cous cous….as i said, very versatile and it’s gluten-free! BUT, as it is still a grain and grains contain phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient that blocks absorption of essential minerals, it is wise to soak quinoa in water for at least 12 hours before cooking.
A Couple Of Yummy Recipes For You….
The first couple of delicious recipes are from Scandi Foodie – a delectable gluten-free food blog with beautiful photography by a Finnish gal named Maria Laitinen. Now residing in Sydney, Maria works as a stylist, freelance writer and blogs about her food philosophy – healthy, feel-good food heavily influenced by her Scandinavian background. I always get many ideas when I check out all her recipes!
1. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak overnight (or at least for 8 hours).
2. Next morning, drain and rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a glass jar (I used two small jars) and cover the mouth of the jar with a cheesecloth. Secure the cloth around the jar with an elastic band. Place the jar upside down at an angle, on top of a dish rack (or something similar) and leave to sprout for 24 hours.
3. The next day, place the sprouted quinoa in a large mixing bowl and stir in cocoa, rice syrup and coconut oil. Spread the mixture on a baking tray and bake in an oven at 100C for about 1 1/2 hours. Make sure to keep an eye on it though, and do not let it burn! It will not be completely crisp straight out of the oven, but it will crisp further as it cools down.
4. Remove the crisps from the oven and add leave to cool completely. Once cooled down, add toasted coconut, cinnamon and vanilla. Store in an air-tight jar for 5-7 days.
Another gorgeous blog that has gluten-free recipes and the prettiest photography, is Aran Goyoaga’s, Canelle Et Vanille. Aran is a Basque ex-pat living in the US working as a freelance food writer, stylist and photographer. She’s also a mother of two young children and her blog is a journal of all her recipes, travels and life stories.
Quinoa Pudding With Macerated Strawberries And Pistachios
I like mine a little bit more liquid. If you like a drier version, omit the heavy cream
makes about 4 8 oz servings
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup sugar (for sugar-free add stevia granules)
pinch of salt
1 cup quinoa
1 cup strawberries, diced
1 Tbs sugar
Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for a few seconds.
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, salt and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot slightly, and cook for about 30 minutes stirring every few minutes. If skin starts to form on top of the milk, just stir it back in. The milk will reduce and thicken. Ladle into bowls or jars.
Place cut strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle them with sugar. Toss them and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour until juices start to come out.
Top the puddings with the strawberries and chopped pistachios.