Quinoa

Quinoa or (Keen-wah) might be a recent discovery and health fad, but it has been dated to pre-Columbian civilization in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia. This simple seed has serious health cred, as it’s not only gluten-free and high in fiber but also a significant alternative to rice and wheat! Hipster cafes to diligent parents have Quinoa debuting in their kitchens. It is, after all, an excellent source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.

It is a “pseudo-grain” disguised as a whole grain. It might look like couscous, have a chewiness akin to barley, but is as versatile as rice and a great alternative to wheat. It is high in protein and tolerant of dry soil and harsh climatic conditions. Quinoa is gluten-free, helping those suffering from coeliac disease safely tolerate this grain.

Quinoa is ideal for Western and Indian cooking; complimenting a variety of spices. This versatile food staple can be enjoyed in a variety of recipes; cakes, eggs, salads, cookies, pancakes, meatballs or as accompaniments to the main course. It comes in a variety of colours (red, white, black) and forms (puffed, rolled, whole).

We grow quinoa and carefully process it, using artisanal techniques, which remove the naturally occurring bitter saponins, while conserving nutritional content and providing a ready-to-eat grain.

History

Quinoa or (Keen-wah) is a “pseudo-grain” – a gluten-free seed, but used in cooking like a whole grain. This highly nutritious plant was domesticated thousands of years ago in South America & was a staple in the daily diet of the mighty Inca Civilization.

Quinoa was first cultivated 5,000 years ago in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina and formed the basic nutrition for the former inhabitants, the legendary Incas. The Incas considered Quinoa as a sacred food, a gift from God. They called it ‘La Chisiya Mama’, the mother of all grains.

In 1532 things went downhill fast for the Incas. Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish explorer, reached the Andes with a small army and within a year he destroyed all the Quinoa fields, he killed the Emperor and he forced the Incas into submission. The daily lives of the Incas had always revolved around honouring Quinoa, and under Francisco’s rule malnutrition soon became rampant. However, what the Spanish did not know is that Quinoa was still grown – in secret – at extremely altitudes that only the natives could reach them…. Still, Quinoa was virtually forgotten about for many centuries. Until it was re-discovered in the 1970’s..

Today, the popularity and acknowledgement of Quinoa as a healthy superfood is growing, especially in the food and beverage industry. Many top chefs have discovered Quinoa and are using it to create the most delicious dishes. Even NASA uses Quinoa seeds during international space flights. And now our broad range of Quinoa products is making Quinoa accessible for you!