What is Quinoa?

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What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a crop which is similar to a grain. It is not actually a grain or a cereal. It can be best described as a pseudo cereal. The word quinoa is derived from the Spanish word quinua .The origin of quinoa can be traced backed to the days of Inca civilization. It was an important part of the regular Inca diet. Quinoa is known as the mother grain from their times. It is most commonly found in the Andes mountain of South America .Quinoa belongs to the species Chenopodium. The leaves of this crop can also be eaten. But today it is not available in common. At first it was grown for its seeds which were so edible .The Incas considered quinoa as a sacred crop.

Quinoa is remarkable for its protein content. .It is also known for its amino acid balance which matches with that of milk. The crop has close relation with plants such as spinach and beet. Quinoa is also rich in starch, sugar, vitamins, oils, fibers, minerals etc. Quinoa is also available in a number of varieties. Unlike other grains quinoa is easily digested and light .It possess a delicious flavor on its own. It is highly nutritious to adults and infants alike. It is also rich in phosphorus, magnesium and iron.

Quinoa can be used to make any dish which is being prepared using any other grain. Quinoa when used with honey can be excellent for breakfast. The flour of the grain is also in use. Germination can enhance the nutritive value of the seed. Quinoa is sold after processing as the saponin coating on it imparts a bitter taste Saponin can lyse the red blood cells. Dried products of quinoa are also being marketed. The grain has some medicinal value also. It has a capacity to heal wounds. Cold climate is more favorable for the plant.

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