QUINOA!!!! Pronounced (Keen-Wah)
Quinoa is an interesting gluten free grain. I first was introduced to this interesting ‘pseudo’ grain (it’s technically a seed, not a grain) as a vegan as it has a high protein content.It is often touted as the highest protein ‘grain’ as it is actually a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It boasts 24 grams of protein per one cup of quinoa! Whoa… I didn’t even know that!
It’s Loaded with Healthy Fats, Antioxidants and Fiber
What’s really cool about quinoa is that, not only does it contain incredible amounts of protein but also is a great source of healthy fats. About 30 percent of the fatty acids come from oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid shown to reduce blood pressure and heart disease risk!
Quinoa is loaded with powerful antioxidants known which have anti-inflammatory benefits shown to help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease. Despite being a ‘grain’, it has a favorable effect on blood sugar levels and has been shown to help manage type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
How do you eat it?
If you are going to eat grains, the key is to prepare them properly. Grains/Nuts and seed-like grains such as quinoa are encased in phytonutrients such as phytic acid which acts as a defense shield for the plant. This anti-nutrient ‘shield’ is very irritating to your intestinal lining and if consumed on a regular basis can ultimately lead to leaky gut. Phytic acid also binds to the minerals in your food, inhibiting you from digesting and absorbing the nutrients from the other foods on your plate. Yes, grains can be real troublemakers if not prepared properly.
So, before cooking up your quinoa, you need to soak it in fresh spring/filtered water with Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for at least 8 hours or overnight. The acid in the vinegar helps to break down the phytic acid in the quinoa. When soaking is complete, pour your quinoa into a strainer and rinse well in your sink. Then you can proceed to my recipe below.
Although we don’t eat gluten free grains on a daily basis, I do prepare ‘seed’ grains such as quinoa as it is very nutrient dense (and hope to start playing around with amaeranth, millet and buckwheat). We eat quinoa a couple times a week and this savory side dish is our favorite!
I can testify that this soaking period does wonders for digestion. I have suffered with a fairy severe case of leaky gut for the past two to three years. Every time I would eat a gluten free grain, even quinoa, I would get an allergic reaction. Severe nasal congestion, watery eyes, runny nose. It wasn’t until I started soaking my quinoa that I have been symptom free. No more watery eyes or runny nose after meals. This smoking process definitely works! I swear by it.
Hope you enjoy my quinoa recipe below!
Healthy Gut, Happy Life!