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Weird & Wonderful Foods: QUINOA

Here's the first weird and wonderfulness about these beautiful Peruvian seeds: How do we actually pronounce it?! Is it "KEENwah" or "Kee-NOah"? Answer at the end of this blog : )

Quinoa has been cultivated in Peru and Bolivia for thousands of years, but it has only recently gained popularity around the world. Not being familiar with Andean cuisine, one is excused being a little intimidated by dishes such as "quinoa atalamada", a type of thick soup made with quinoa, cheese and evaporated milk, which is served with rice. Quinoa is weird.

However, this seed is also a good source of manganese, phosphorous, fibre, folate, iron, zinc and magnesium! It helps to bump up the protein content of a meal and it is gluten free (only a true benefit for those with coeliac disease, but a benefit nonetheless). Quinoa can be used instead of rice or couscous, added to salads, veggie patties, made into porridge and much more! Because of its versatility and ease of cooking, it can feature in hundreds of meals. Quinoa is wonderful!

To make the best quinoa each time, follow these five simple tips:

  1. Rinse quinoa in running water before cooking to remove its bitter coating.

  2. The ratio is 1:2 quinoa to water, plus a pinch of salt to taste.

  3. Cook the quinoa at a gentle simmer until the water has been absorbed. This will vary depending on how much you're cooking, but in general, 1 cup of quinoa cooks in about 10-15 minutes.

  4. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.

  5. Fluff up with a fork and voila!

For those traditional rice cookers out there, I bet you've seen a stark similarity on how to cook these two foods, right? I told you it was easy!

Quinoa is truly versatile. Here is a link to a great recipe to get you started on your quinoa adventures!

Let me know how you go! We would love to see a picture of your cooking explorations! Tag us on Instagram @bn_puravida and use the hashtag #weirdandwonderfulfoods

Pura Vida,


Oh, yes! It's pronounced "KEEN-wah"

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