A lot of information is coming to light on how difficult it is for the body to digest grains. Most contain gluten or mycotoxins — both inflammation-causing villians that are associated with leaky gut syndrome and many auto-immune disorders.
Dr. Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University and an expert on Paleolithic lifestyles, humans are NOT designed to eat grains, and doing so may actually be damaging to your gut. For more details, I recommend that you read Dr. Mercola’s article and do some further research online.
The Paleo (aka Caveman’s) Diet rejects most grains because of these issues. I covered this topic briefly in a former blog called A Pinch of Paleo; Bread enthusiasts can get their “fix” with some non-grain recipes included in that article.
For optimal food combining, it’s always best to separate your proteins from grains (complex carbs), breads, potatoes, corn and other starchy vegetables. However, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is actually a seed, more than a grain, and if you have an overwhelming craving for something “grain-y” this is an acceptable substitute.
A superfood for the Mayan and Aztec empires. quinoa is high in protein, boasting 9 amino acids and also packed full of antioxidants, ALA’s (alpha linolenic acid) and Omega 3 goodness.
Here is a great website that offers a free ebook loaded with yummy quinoa recipes. According to these experts: Most methods of cooking quinoa call for a 1:2 ratio between quinoa and liquid…What I found is that I like quinoa a lot more when I used less liquid, lower heat and cooked my quinoa for longer. Unlike some methods which yield a softer (and sometimes soggy!) quinoa, this method yields a fluffy quinoa. When I am short on time I will still use the old method, but as long as I have the time I find that the results are well worth the effort…The good news is that quinoa is very forgiving, so quinoa cooking experiments are pretty hard to mess up! Read on for how to cook perfect quinoa!
Quinoa blends with just about everything. I chose Broccoli Rabe for my recipe as this plant is a lot like a leafy green and also has little broccoli-like buds. The flavor is nutty and bitter and should always be cooked. Also called rapini, this vegetable increases the protein in the dish, adding calcium, Vitamin K and some of the B’s.
Taking Quinoa from Good to Great
The secret is germination. While you can cook quinoa directly from the box, performing 2 extra steps will make this food come alive and provide many more nutrients and enzymes. The Raw Fusion Lifestyle teaches you these paradigm-shifting steps in order to enhance the nutritional impact of this supergrain.
STEP 1 – Soak the quinoa you need in water, overnight.
STEP 2 – Place a clean white paper towel at the bottom of a colander. Pour the quinoa in and let it drain. Cover with moist clean paper towel and then cover the colander with a clean kitchen towel and place in a corner of your kitchen for 6-8 hours. A tiny sprout will be visible — it’s ready to cook!
Raw foodists often eat sprouted quinoa without cooking but there is nothing wrong with cooking it, if you choose. The sprouting also softens the grain and lessens the cooking time needed.
Quinoa with Broccoli Rabe
1 cup quinoa (yellow or red) soaked overnight and sprouted
1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
1 TB. coconut oil or other oil
Salt to taste
1 bunch broccoli rabe
Directions: Wash, peel and chop the rabe and set aside. Quinoa should be soaked at least 4 hours and drained and rinsed. (I will show you how to sprout.)
Place quinoa in saucepan with liquid and bring to boil, lower heat to simmer and let cook for about 25 minutes. For the last 5-10 minutes, stir in the oil and the rabe. Rabe should be cooked through but still slightly firm. Serve with parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
Here’s a great photo of yellow quinoa and greens from projectjennifer.com.
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