- In South America they use the saponin removed from the quinoa as detergent for washing clothes.
- The sticky, bitter, soapy film of saponins also keeps birds from eating the quinoa seeds off of the bushes. Scientists decided to create quinoa that didn’t have saponins and guess what? The birds ate it all.
- Stalks of the plant are used in preparing bleach or dyes, and dried stalks are used as fuel.
- “Eat quinoa, food of the 21st century.” These are the words written on the cover of each issue of an Argentinean science magazine called Temas.
I love the light flavor of quinoa. It is easy to digest and is not sticky or heavy like grains, making it a wonderful summer grain-like food.
7 Tips for Eating or Cooking:
- Always rinse quinoa. Place quinoa in a strainer, then run cold water over it until the entire soapy residue has been washed away. You can taste test a few seeds; if they still have a bitter taste, run more cold water over them. Extra removal can be made by rubbing the seeds while rinsing with water. (Read why under: Use and Safety on page 4)
- There are three main varieties: light yellow, red, and black.
- Make quinoa porridge for breakfast, add it to your salad at lunch, substitute if for brown rice with your vegetables and make a yummy quinoa pudding.
- Use quinoa flour in your gluten-free baking.
- Even the leaves of the quinoa plant are edible; they taste similar to spinach, chard and beets.
- Sprout quinoa; simply soak the quinoa in water for 12 hours, then keep it moist in a jar.
- Quinoa can even be popped like popcorn and is very popular with Peruvian children.
Next page: History and nutritional breakdown