Black quinoa was a staple food for the South American Indians living in the Andes Mountains as it was one of the few crops that could withstand frost, intense sun and the often dry conditions that is characteristic of the Andean climate. The Incas called it 'Mother of all Grains" and it came to have spiritual significance for them.
Quinoa is a 'pseudo-grain' - actually a gluten-free seed, but used in cooking like a whole grain. The grains are rich in nutrients and a wonderful source of complete protein, providing all of the essential amino acids as well as being a good source of dietary fiber. Hence this amazing gluten free grain makes a great addition to any diet, especially making it an ideal solution for those following a gluten-free, vegetarian diet that are looking to increase their fiber and protein.
The earthy flavour of quinoa also makes it ideal for soups, pilafs and salads. Quinoa takes very little time to prepare and can be substituted anwhere whole grains are required. It makes for an ideal nutritious alternative to white rice and couscous.