"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There are both red and white varieties of quinoa

I really like the 'superfood' quinoa. Besides being loaded with nutrients, it is mild in both taste and texture and very versatile. Also, it's gluten-free. There are thousands of quinoa recipes on the net - everything from salads to curries and stews. My interest was therefore piqued when I stumbled across this interesting article (below) in the NY Times. What a sad catch-22 for the people of Bolivia:

When NASA scientists were searching decades ago for an ideal food for long-term human space missions, they came across an Andean plant called quinoa. With an exceptional balance of amino acids, quinoa, they declared, is virtually unrivaled in the plant or animal kingdom for its life-sustaining nutrients. But while Bolivians have lived off it for centuries, quinoa remained little more than a curiosity outside the Andes for years, found in health food shops and studied by researchers — until recently.
Now demand for quinoa (pronounced KEE-no-ah) is soaring in rich countries, as American and European consumers discover the "lost crop” of the Incas. The surge has helped raise farmers’ incomes here in one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries. But there has been a notable trade-off: Fewer Bolivians can now afford it, hastening their embrace of cheaper, processed foods and raising fears of malnutrition in a country that has long struggled with it.

I wonder if this type of scenario has occurred before in other countries? 

In light of the above article, I now feel slightly insensitive sharing a delicious breakfast that my Mom made when I visited recently - but here it is and it was yummy!

Blueberry-Quinoa Cereal
2/3 cup (160 mL) water
3 tbsp (45 mL) quinoa
2 tbsp (30 mL) quick oats
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) ground flax seeds
2 tbsp (30 mL) blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
Milk, cream or vanilla yogurt (optional)

In small saucepan, combine water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in oats. Cover; cook 5 minutes. 
Stir in maple syrup, honey or sugar, flax and blueberries. 
If desired, top with milk, cream or yogurt.
Makes 1 serving.


  1. I can verify how good this really its.


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