Guest post by Cooper Elling
Dried beans and rice are a staple topic of discussion on this site because we’re all interested in knowing about food that has a long shelf life period and can be stored in bulk. Well I’m here to tell you about a dried food that has a shelf life comparable to rice and with even more nutritional value than brown rice. This is a food you’ll most certainly be interested in incorporating into your survival plans and into everyday life.
What Is It?
Quinoa, pronounced Keen-Wah, is this magical food and to give you a great basic introduction I think Wikipedia states it best when they say this “… amazing food source was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.”
Why Do I Like It?
I came across Quinoa because of my girlfriend. She used to be a vegetarian and is very nutritionally aware and was always looking for ways to be healthier. Knowing that her vegetarian diet was lower in protein, she discovered Quinoa as an amazing addition to her diet for its complete protein and amino acid boost compared to alternatives such as brown rice. Quinoa actually has almost double the amount of protein and double the amount of dietary fiber when compared to brown rice, which is quite impressive.
How Do I Serve It?
If you purchase processed Quinoa in the store it will only need a quick rinse, whereas a less processed version will need more soaking beforehand to remove the bitter outer casing called the Saponin. We typically use Quinoa the same way that we would use rice; it’s almost a direct substitute. Mix 2 cups water or stock with 1 cup of Quinoa and bring to a boil before lowering to a simmer. The final product has a mild flavor and is a delicious base for stir-fry, vegetables or whatever your fancy may be.
What’s Not To Like?
There isn’t too much more I have to add on the topic. I am not an expert on the food source, but thought the readers of this blog would be very interested to read the basics I’ve provided in this article and do a little investigation of their own into this “super food.” It tastes great, stores well, and has fantastic nutritional value. What else do you need?
About the Author
Note from Angela: Quinoa can be purchased in local health food stores or online from companies like Thrive Life.