What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a flowering plant native to the Andean region of South America. It is primarily grown for its edible seeds, which are rich in protein, fiber, and various nutrients. Quinoa is often considered a pseudocereal because it is not a true cereal or grain, but it is used in a manner similar to grains.
The quinoa seeds come in various colors, including white, red, and black. Quinoa is valued for its nutritional content, as it is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own. This makes quinoa a particularly important food source, especially for people following vegetarian or vegan diets.
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. It can be used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, soups, and side dishes, and can also be ground into flour for use in baking. Because of its nutritional profile and versatility, quinoa has gained popularity as a healthy food option in many parts of the world.
Is Quinoa Gluten Free?
Yes, quinoa is naturally gluten-free. Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and some other grains, such as barley and rye. Since quinoa is not a member of the grass family to which these gluten-containing grains belong, it is considered gluten-free.
Quinoa is a suitable option for individuals who follow a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or other reasons. It is an excellent alternative to traditional grains like wheat, barley, and rye for those who need to avoid gluten in their diet. Additionally, quinoa offers nutritional benefits, such as being a good source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.
Is The 7th Seed Quinoa Organic?
The 7th Seed Quinoa is technically not organic due to an application of fertilizer during the growing season. However, our Quinoa is non-GMO, Kosher, grown without the use of any glyphosates, and every seed lot is cleaned, tested, and traceable to the field it was grown in, ensuring it is a superior product even for those with sensitivities to various chemicals use to grow food.
How long does Quinoa last?
The shelf life of quinoa can vary depending on storage conditions. In general, if stored properly, quinoa has a relatively long shelf life.
Uncooked quinoa: If stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, uncooked quinoa can last for a long time, typically up to 2-3 years.
Cooked quinoa: Cooked quinoa, when stored in the refrigerator, is usually best when consumed within 3-5 days. To extend its shelf life, you can freeze cooked quinoa in a sealed, airtight container or plastic bag for up to 8-12 months.
Vacuum Sealed Quinoa: Vacuum sealing uncooked Quinoa can increase its life span by several years. The amount of oxygen removed during the vacuum process, type of bag it is sealed in, and the use of oxygen absorbers determine the number of years the life span of Quinoa can be extended. Typically, a vacuum sealed clear bag will last up to 10 years while a vacuum sealed Mylar bag with Oxygen Absorbers will last up to 30 years if stored in a cool, dry place.
The 7th Seed Vacuum Sealed Barter Bricks have been vacuumed to a 99% vacuum in contrast to the usual 50% vacuum achieved by a standard household vacuum sealer. This ensures that our Quinoa stays fresher for longer. If stored in a cool, dry place, it will last up to 10 years or more as long as the vacuum seal remains unbroken.
Mylar Sealed Quinoa: Sealing uncooked Quinoa in Mylar bags with Oxygen Absorbers will drastically increase its life span up to 30 years if stored in a cool, dry place.
Always check for signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or changes in color or texture, to determine if quinoa is still good to eat. If you notice any unusual characteristics, it's best to discard the quinoa to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
Bartering & Quinoa as Currency?
As we experience varying disruptions to the supply chain, increasing inflation, the decline and possible collapse of the US dollar, we may see a time where the tradition of bartering becomes the primary source of purchasing and selling items. Digital currency and electronic money are only usable in a world where the internet and power sources remain uninterrupted. Even the value of gold will eventually decrease to almost nothing in a world that doesn’t have enough food to go around. This is why we created the Quinoa Barter Brick, a bartering item utilizing a commodity that is essential for life, packaged to last, and the single best food for survival.
Why does unwashed Quinoa taste bitter?
Quinoa can sometimes have a bitter taste. This bitterness is attributed to natural compounds called saponins, which are present on the outer coating of quinoa seeds. Saponins act as a natural defense mechanism for the plant, deterring insects and other pests.
How do I Rinse Quinoa to reduce bitterness?
To minimize the bitter taste of quinoa, it is recommended to rinse the seeds thoroughly before cooking. Rinsing helps remove the saponins from the outer layer, reducing their concentration and the associated bitterness. Many commercially available quinoa products have undergone a pre-washing process to remove saponins, but it's still a good practice to rinse quinoa before cooking it at home.
To rinse quinoa:
- Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve or a fine colander.
- Rinse the quinoa under cold running water, either rubbing the seeds gently with your hands, or using the spray function on your faucet.
- Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.
Once rinsed, you can proceed to cook quinoa as usual. This simple step helps improve the flavor and makes quinoa more palatable. Keep in mind that some people are more sensitive to the taste of saponins, so adjusting the rinsing process to your preference may be necessary.
Are the Saponins in Quinoa good or bad for you?
The saponins found in quinoa can have both positive and negative aspects, and their impact on your health depends on various factors, including the amount consumed and individual sensitivity. Here's an overview:
Potential Benefits of Quinoa Saponins:
- Antioxidant Properties: Some research suggests that certain saponins in quinoa may have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in the body, which can contribute to overall health and may help prevent chronic diseases.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Like other saponins, those found in quinoa may have anti-inflammatory properties. Managing inflammation is important for various aspects of health and may contribute to preventing certain chronic conditions.
- Immune Modulation: Some studies have explored the immune-modulating effects of saponins, which may have implications for supporting the immune system.
Considerations and Drawbacks:
- Bitter Taste: Quinoa saponins contribute to the bitter taste of raw or minimally processed quinoa. However, rinsing and cooking quinoa can help reduce the bitterness by removing some of the saponins from the outer layer.
- Digestive Sensitivity: Some individuals may be more sensitive to the saponins in quinoa, experiencing digestive discomfort or irritation. Rinsing quinoa and incorporating it into a well-cooked meal can help minimize this issue.
- Nutrient Absorption: In high concentrations, saponins may interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. However, when quinoa is consumed as part of a balanced diet, this is typically not a significant concern.
Rinsing and cooking quinoa properly can help maximize its benefits while minimizing potential drawbacks associated with saponins.