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Quinoa

6 Sep

Quinoa has the most protein of any grain, and the highest fat content. It’s a great source of vitamins & minerals.  Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat, and is considered a complete protein. Quinoa is not really a grain; it is a seed belonging to the Goosefoot family. We cook and eat it like a grain, so that’s why it’s known as a grain.
Red or White? White quinoa is most common, red is less common and more expensive. Red quinoa is harder and holds its shape better, and it has a stronger more earthy taste. Some people think it is more nutritious, but as far as I can tell that’s not necessarily so.

Nutrition Data  1 cup cooked quinoa: 185g: 222 cal; 39g carb; 4g fat; 8g protein; 5g fiber; iron 15% DV; Good source of: Vit E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese; estimated glycemic load 18

**Because of its high fat content, quinoa should be stored in the fridge or freezer so it doesn’t go rancid.

To Soak or Not to Soak Quinoa: Quinoa naturally comes with a bitter coating called saponin which must be rinsed off. Most quinoa that you buy in the U.S. has been pre-rinsed and dried, but I usually soak it 5 minutes just in case, to loosen up any residue of saponin, or dust or chaff that remains. Skip soaking if you like, but always rinse quinoa.

Quinoa Cooking Directions:

1. You’ll need a 2 quart pot with a tight fitting lid, and a fine mesh strainer

2. Double the recipe if you want to have leftover quinoa for another meal or two

3. Optional: Soak the quinoa for 5 min in the cooking pot. Soaking helps quinoa to cook evenly, and loosens up any residue of saponin (usually removed in processing), which can give a bitter taste

4. To Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water, using a fine mesh strainer at the last.

5. Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups water & 1/4 tsp salt if desired. No salt will make quinoa softer and fluffier, a little salt will make it firmer and it may take a couple extra minutes to cook.

6. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.

7. Cook for 15 minutes.

8. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on.

9. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve 🙂

quinoa2

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Pressure Cooker Directions:

1 cup quinoa to 1 1/4 cups water

1. Rinse quinoa, add to pressure cooker with water and 1/4 tsp salt if desired.

2. Lock lid on high pressure setting. Bring up to pressure, reduce heat to simmer, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.

3. Use natural pressure release

What To Do With Cooked Quinoa:

When I cook quinoa I always make a double batch so I have some left over in the fridge or freezer toquinoa-bb2-150x150 use in other quinoa recipes.

Use the basic quinoa recipe above as a starting point, and substitute quinoa for pasta or rice in almost any meal.

See my favorite Quinoa Recipe, Quinoa & Black Beans HERE

Sprouts

5 Sep

Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition and Delicious!!!

Sprouts are not new. They have been grown by many civilizations over the past 5,000 years. The practice of sprouting is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. This ancient practice, can turn a hard to digest grain, seed, or bean into a food product that your body digests as easy as a vegetable.

Research shows that sprouts are a veritable fountain of youth. Sprouts abound with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Seriously check it out: Broccoli sprouts have been found to contain 50 times as much of the antioxidant sulfurophane as mature broccoli.

Wheat Grass juice is the closest substance to hemoglobin, and is therefore a phenomenal blood purifier and liver de-toxifier. Sprouts contain enzymes, giving your body a much needed rest as they digest themselves – invigorating you while requiring no help from your body to process them. New research indicates that peanut sprouts reduce harmful cholesterol and that sunflower, buckwheat and grain sprouts dramatically improve the quality of life for diabetics. The list goes on and on.

 

What Can Be Sprouted?

You can sprout just about anything that could be considered a seed. You can sprout vegetable seeds like radishes and broccoli or grain seeds like wheat or quinoa. You can sprout beans like chickpeas or lentils. Anything you might be able to put into the ground to grow into a larger plant can be sprouted.

When purchasing vegetable seeds for sprouting be sure that they are marked “sprouting seeds”. Some seeds are sold with a chemical residue that prevents sprouting.

How Sprouting Works

Put simply, sprouts are the first growth of a seed, before they turn into what will someday become the plants we know and love in our gardens. When you keep the seeds most and warm they begin to sprout and create tiny little plants.

Where once there was a hard to digest seed, after sprouting you have a nourishing plant food. Sprouts are chock full of nourishment including vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.

Sprouting Equipment: 

You can purchase sprouting kits like THIS one  I use for making sprouts, or you may want to use two pieces of very basic equipment; A wide mouth canning jar and ring lid plus a sprout screen. A quart jar works well for vegetable sprouts and a half gallon jar works well for grains or beans.

 

That’s really all you need besides the seeds themselves and the water you will use to soak and rinse them.        

Cultures for Health has some great kits, lids, and seed packets.

Sprouting How-To: Basic Principles for Any Seed

Whether you wish to sprout broccoli seeds for a fresh addition to your sandwich or wheat grains to make healthier bread, the principle of sprouting remains the same.

1. Soak Sprout Seeds Overnight. Start by rinsing your seeds (vegetable, grain, or bean) in water. Then cover  them with at least four times as much water and allow to soak overnight.

 

 

 

2. Drain and Rinse Seeds. The next morning you are going to dump off the soaking water, rinse with fresh water, and begin the sprouting process. If you are using a jar you will want to invert it at a 45 degree angle over a bowl or other container to allow the water to slowly drain off. If you are using a sprouter just replace the lid. you want to cover or keep them in a dark place at this point.

 

3. Rinse, Drain, Repeat. Two to three times per day you will want to pour water over the sprouts, swirl, shake, & drain well.. Every day your sprouts will grow a bit more until they have filled your entire vessel.

after about 2 days the seeds are beginning to sprout, but they are not ready yet

alfalfa101-150x150*You will want to allow vegetable seeds to grow until they fill the tray. Remove the lid and expose them to the sunlight for a few hours so they can begin to produce chlorophyll and turn green. Grains and beans you may only want to sprout until the tiniest sprout “tail” emerges for best flavor. the length of time it takes the seeds to sprout depends on several factors, mainly temperature; the warmer it is the faster they grow.

 

4. Store Sprouts. When you are satisfied with the length of your sprouts you are ready to store them, either in the refrigerator for vegetable or bean sprouts or, in the case of grains, in a dried state if you wish to grind them.

No matter which type of seed you are sprouting you want the storage point to coincide with a dry point in the sprouting process in order to prevent mold. So don’t rinse them and then cover tightly and store in the refrigerator.

To dry grains you can lay them evenly on a lined dehydrator tray and dry at no more than 145 degrees to preserve enzymes. Or you can simply lay them out on a sheet pan covered with cheese cloth (to prevent bugs) on a warm, dry day. You want the grains to be as dry as they were when you started so they will run easily through a grain mill. You can test them out by simply biting or chopping into one to make sure it is dry and crunchy.

Vegetable sprouts can keep in the refrigerator for around five days, bean sprouts up to a week, and dried grain sprouts indefinitely (though consuming them sooner may enhance their nutrition).

5. Eat Sprouts!!!

Vegetable sprouts can be used in salads, sandwiches, or on top of soups. Mung bean sprouts can be used in stir fries or added to other Asian-inspired dishes. Other bean sprouts can be cooked just as you would regular beans. Sprouted grains can be ground to make everything from bread to biscuits to pancakes.

Sprouting is actually a lot easier than most people think, and only takes minutes of hands-on time. So if you are interested in the benefits of sprouting don’t be intimidated, start sprouting today!

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