Products

Quinoa

Like some of the other exotic grains, Quinoa isn't a grain at all but is technically a fruit. Quinoa might be a new and exotic item here in North America, however, this isn't so in South America where it has grown for more than 5,000 years in and around the Andes Mountains. The Incas called Quinoa 'the Mother Grain' as eating this food tended to give long life. Quinoa can be grown just about anywhere - presently being grown in the US and Canada. But North American growers, so far, are unable to match the quality of Quinoa that comes from the high mountains of South America. Farmers trying to grow this variety of Quinoa, called Altiplano, haven't been able to get it to produce in the lower elevations of North America. Instead, North American farmers grow a darker brown, more bitter tasting variety of Quinoa called 'Sea Level Quinoa.' The really good, light colored, sweetly delicate Quinoa comes from the highest mountains in the Andes. This 'Golden Grain of the Andes' is such a rugged little plant that it can even grow at high, extremely dry elevations where even grass won't grow. Yet, the most sought-after strains of Quinoa are so fragile that they won't produce at lower elevations on good soil. Interestingly enough, much of the world's Quinoa is grown in Bolivia at elevations around 12,000 feet.
The Quinoa seed is a small oval disk about 1.5-2 mm in diameter. As it grows, the seed is coated with a dark, almost black layer of 'saponine' that has a bitter, soapy taste. Saponine is the plant's natural defense against insects, birds and other small animals that might want to eat it on the stock. Before Quinoa can be eaten, the saponine must me washed off. (As saponine acts as a crude soap, the locals who grow Quinoa, save the saponine-water and wash their clothes in it!) Virtually all Quinoa sold in North America as food already has the saponine removed. This leaves a very nutritious food that has been called my many, ‘nature's perfect food.' Quinoa is one of the few foods with a relatively balanced protein. Quinoa's high level of the amino acid, lycine, complements wheat nicely. By mixing Quinoa into your wheat at a ratio of 25% Quinoa to 75% wheat, the Quinoa will make your wheat breads a complete protein. Quinoa contains a long list of nutrients.

Quinoa has a high oil content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Because of this, it's important to store Quinoa in a cool place, and if you are going to store it for the long term, place it in airtight containers and remove the oxygen with oxygen absorbers. Removing the oxygen doesn't stop the aging process of foods, but it goes a long way to extend it several times.
The Quinoa comes from the Altiplano strain grown between 12,000 and 14,000 feet in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. It's saponine has been carefully washed off so you can still sprout the seed if you like.

Some Quinoa processors use steam during the de-saponine process which kills the seed. Our Quinoa comes directly from the subsistence farmers of the high mountains of Bolivia. Getting our Quinoa directly supports these farmers who work hard, toiling by hand without the aid of machines to plant and harvest this crop, wishing only to provide you with an outstanding product that can only be grown in this unique area of the world.

Quinoa contains no gluten so it's safe for gluten intolerant people to eat. Quinoa can be eaten in many different ways. Traditionally it has been eaten as a porridge or in soups and stews. Only taking 10-12 minutes to boil until soft (Quinoa is the fastest cooking whole grain), Quinoa seed's size mushrooms into plump little morsels with a tail. The Altiplano Quinoa has somewhat of a bland yet pleasant flavor. Having a nice, crisp texture similar to brown rice, Quinoa has greatly expanded nutritional qualities over rice and can be used in place of rice in most dishes. Quinoa is also delicious eaten as a side dish by itself. Quinoa flour has been made into spaghetti noodles, flakes, a drink and Quinoa has even been popped. Mixed with wheat flour, Quinoa will boost the nutritional qualities of your bread and add it's unique flavor. In addition to this, it can be used to make delicious salads, soups and desserts. With the amazing nutrition that's found in Quinoa, we think, as you begin to use this grain, you will start using it more and more in your daily cooking.

Although new to North Americans, Quinoa (pronounced ‘keenwa') has been cultivated in the highest continuously farmed region of the earth, the South American Andes, since at least 3,000 B.C. The ancient Incas called it ‘the mother grain' and revered it as sacred. Compared to other grains and vegetables, it is high in protein, calcium, and iron. One researcher has said that "while no single food can supply all of the essential life sustaining nutrients, it comes as close as any other in the vegetable or animal kingdoms."

This amazing ancient food is now in the process of being rediscovered by modern peoples. In South America, a renewed respect for indigenous crops and traditional foods has reversed a 400-year decline in quinoa production that began with the Spanish conquest. And within the past three years quinoa has begun to be grown for the first time outside South America...

Quinoa is a small seed that in size, shape, and color looks like a cross between sesame seed and millet. It is disk shaped with a flattened or depressed equatorial band around it's periphery. It is usually a pale yellow color but some species may vary from almost white through pink, orange, or red to purple and black. Quinoa is not a true cereal grain but is technically a fruit of the Chenopodium family. Chenopodium plants have characteristic leaves shaped like a goose foot. The genus also includes our common weed, lamb's quarters. Quinoa is an annual herb that grows from three to six feet high, and like millet its seeds are in large clusters at the end of the stalk.

The seeds are covered with saponin, a resin-like substance that is extremely bitter and forms a soapy solution in water. To be edible, the saponin must be removed. Traditionally, saponin has been removed by laboriously hand scrubbing the quinoa in alkaline water.

The edible seed of the quinoa plant has been called both a pseudo-cereal and a pseudo-oilseed because of it's unique nutritional profile. It is high in protein compared to other grains, although it is also high in oil and fat.

Some wheats come close to matching quinoa's protein content, but cereals such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Also, quinoa has a good balance of the amino acids that make up the protein. Quinoa, like soybeans, is exceptionally high in lysine, an amino acid not overly abundant in the vegetable kingdom. Quinoa is also a good complement for legumes, which are often low in Methionine and Cystine. In addition, quinoa is a relatively good source of phosphorous, calcium, iron, vitamin E, and several of the B vitamins. In addition to all this, quinoa tastes good!

Nutritional Values for 100 Grams of food.

174 lbs
Male

138 lbs
Female

Quinoa

Unit

Amount

RDA

RDA

Food energy

KCal:

374.000

2900

2200

Protein

Gms:

13.100

63

50

Total lipid (fat)

Gms:

5.800

100

78

Carbohydrate, by diff.

Gms:

68.900

470

366

Total saturated fat

Gms:

0.590

33

25

Ttl monounsaturated fat

Gms:

1.535

Ttl polyunsaturated fat

Gms:

2.347

Cholesterol

Mg :

0.000

300

300

Sodium

Mg :

21.000

388

388

Total dietary fiber

Gms:

5.900

25

25

Vitamin A

Re :

0.000

1000

800

Vitamin A

IU :

0.000

Alpha tocopherol

Mg :

10

8.2

Ascorbic acid

Mg :

0.000

60

60

Thiamin

Mg :

0.198

1.2

1.1

Riboflavin

Mg :

0.396

1.7

1.3

Niacin

Mg :

2.930

20

15

Vitamin B6

Mg :

0.223

2

1.6

Folacin

Mcg:

49.000

200

180

Vitamin B12

Mcg:

0.000

6

6

Potassium

Mg :

740.000

2000

2000

Calcium

Mg :

60.000

1000

1000

Phosphorus

Mg :

410.000

800

800

Magnesium

Mg :

210.000

400

330

Iron

Mg :

9.250

10

18

Zinc

Mg :

3.300

15

12

Pantothenic acid

Mg :

1.047

10

10

Copper

Mg :

0.820

2

2

Manganese

Mg :

2.260

3.5

3.5

Ash

Gms:

2.900

Water

Gms:

9.300

Food energy

KJ :

1567.000

Caprylic acid (8:0)

Gms:

Capric acid (10:0)

Gms:

Lauric acid (12:0)

Gms:

Myristic acid (14:0)

Gms:

Palmitic acid (16:0)

Gms:

0.541

Palmitoleic acid (16:1)

Gms:

0.010

Stearic acid (18:0)

Gms:

0.049

Oleic acid (18:1)

Gms:

1.525

Linoleic acid (18:2/n6)

Gms:

2.214

3.0

2.5

Linolenic acid(18:3/n3)

Gms:

0.133

2.0

1.6

Gadoleic acid (20:1)

Gms:

Docosenoic acid (22:1)

Gms:

Phytosterols

Mg :

Histidine

Gms:

0.314

0.95

0.76

Isoleucine

Gms:

0.472

1.10

0.63

Leucine

Gms:

0.786

1.00

0.88

Lysine

Gms:

0.734

0.84

0.76

Methionine

Gms:

0.262

Cystine

Gms:

Methionine+Cystine

Gms:

0.262

1.00

0.82

Phenylalanine

Gms:

0.537

Tyrosine

Gms:

0.367

Phenylalanine+Tyrosine

Gms:

0.904

1.11

0.88

Threonine

Gms:

0.459

0.55

0.88

Tryptophan

Gms:

0.50

0.40

Valine

Gms:

0.589

0.85

0.63

Arginine

Gms:

0.918

Alanine

Gms:

0.616

Aspartic acid

Gms:

0.956

Glutamic acid

Gms:

1.559

Glycine

Gms:

0.681

Proline

Gms:

0.407

Serine

Gms:

0.484