Source: NY Times
Quinoa! That healthy grain that's all the rage now among foodies and health nuts. I'm glad quinoa has gained in popularity, but like everything else that's a fad, you've gotta do your research! Just because they stick quinoa in this that or the other thing doesn't make it healthy. (Read my post: Why Bother With Quinoa Pasta?)
Someone I know was eagerly telling me about this oh so healthy grain and I must try it "You can get it in the health food section of the grocery store in Rice-A-Roni style box!" Not one to let a soapbox opportunity about food misunderstandings fall to the wayside, I tried to gently but firmly explain that 1. just because it is in that aisle doesn't mean it's good for you. 2. Putting it in a convenience packaging with a little packet of who knows what's in it flavoring pretty much renders it NOT good for you. 3. You're supposed to SOAK quinoa for at LEAST 12 hours in a whey, lemon juice or vinegar water before consuming it or it's not good for you.
"Ummmm....well, I cook it in water," she responded.
So, I explained to her what I'm going to explain to you. Quinoa, like all grains, contain anti nutrients and phytates/phytic acid which are there to keep the grain from sprouting prematurely. These anti nutrients render grains difficult to digest and block the absorption of calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc and iron, thus causing deficiencies which can lead to intestinal upset, bone loss, depression, fatigue, anemia, and a lower immune system. (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)
Soaking quinoa and other grains in water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar not only breaks down the anti nutrients, but it predigests some of the gluten (in grains that contain gluten...quinoa is gluten-free) making it easier for your body to handle it. It also opens the doors for the nutrients it does contain to be utilized more easily and readily in your body. (Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)
So, soak that quinoa for better health!
For soaked quinoa recipes and mountains of information on utilizing food to the maximum, get Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon!