- What is Quinoa?
- Why Choose NorQuin Brand Quinoa
- Quinoa on the Canadian Prairies
- Quinoa Nutritional Information
Quinoa on the Canadian Prairies
Quinoa (Keen' wa) has been called "the grain of the gods", a term that is befitting this wondrous little seed. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is an annual herb from the Andes Mountains of South America, where it has been cultivated, for 3000 years and was a staple of the Inca Empire. The Inca's considered it a "gift from the gods", in that it helped to sustain and nourish their peoples through the generations. It is a high protein, gluten free grain and a good source of fibre, complex carbohydrates and vitamins. Quinoa provides people, especially with gluten intolerance's, a nutritional, economical, easy to prepare, flavorful food source.
Quinoa, is not an actual grain for, it does not belong to the grass family but, is a broad leaf plant and a close relative of lamb's quarters. Quinoa as a plant grows 3 - 7 feet high and produces a small, flat, circular-shaped seed. Varieties have been adapted which grow well on the prairies and have enabled local farmers to grow an alternative food source. Currently all Quinoa is grown organically or naturally, without pesticides.
The ancient Incas called Quinoa the "mother grain". The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization observes that Quinoa is closer to the ideal protein balance than any other common grain, being at least equal to milk in protein quality. Quinoa's nutritional profile has higher levels of energy, calcium, phosphorus, iron, fibre and B-Vitamins than barley, oats, rice, corn, or wheat. Quinoa has a nutritionally attractive amino acid balance, being exceptionally high in lysine. Lysine is considered to be deficient in most cereal grains, making their protein profile incomplete.
Quinoa has a natural bitter seed coating or saponin, which encases the seed and must be removed before consuming. This coating has been traditionally removed by vigorous washing with water. The varieties that are grown on the prairies have a high saponin content and this washing is even more of a concern. Northern Quinoa Corporation has developed a process which removes the bitter coating or saponin that coats the quinoa seed. This process involves both mechanical dehulling and a rapid wash-dry process. The result is a consumer friendly, easy to prepare, versatile, whole food.
The flavour of Norquin Brand "Golden Quinoa", has been described as mild and slightly "nutty" and is versatile in that it may be prepared in minutes as a side dish, breakfast cereal or combined with other ingredients for a hearty main course. Quinoa may also be included in soups, salads and desserts or ground and used as a flour. In many cases Quinoa flour may be substituted for rice flour in favorite recipes. Flour is available in bulk quantities by order only.
"Golden Quinoa" is economical as it is a whole food grain and minimally processed under careful control. The seed is grown on the Canadian prairies by local farmers, many of them with Certified Organic farming operations. The plants thrive in our northern environment, with clean air, pure water, and the warming prairie sunshine.
We encourage you to try Northern Quinoa's "Golden Quinoa" soon and find out for yourself why it has been referred to as the "grain of the gods" We hope that you will enjoy natures "gift" as much as we do.