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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish and Israeli Foods --> Quinoa

Quinoa a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds.

The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

After harvest, the seeds need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.

Kosher controversy

Quinoa has become popular in the Jewish community as a substitute for the leavened grains that are forbidden during the Passover holiday. Several of the kosher certification organizations refuse to certify quinoa as being kosher for passover citing reasons including its resemblance to prohibited grains, or fear of cross-contamination of the product from nearby fields of the prohibited grain.

Nutritional value
  • Quinoa, uncooked Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
  • Energy 1,539 kJ (368 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 64 g
    - Starch 52 g
    - Dietary fibre 7 g
  • Fat 6 g
    - polyunsaturated 3.3 g
  • Protein 14 g
    - Tryptophan 0.167 g
    - Threonine 0.421 g
    - Isoleucine 0.504 g
    - Leucine 0.840 g
    - Lysine 0.766 g
    - Methionine 0.309 g
    - Cystine 0.203 g
    - Phenylalanine 0.593 g
    - Tyrosine 0.267 g
    - Valine 0.594 g
    - Arginine 1.091 g
    - Histidine 0.407 g
    - Alanine 0.588 g
    - Aspartic acid 1.134 g
    - Glutamic acid 1.865 g
    - Glycine 0.694 g
    - Proline 0.773 g
    - Serine 0.567 g
  • Water 13 g
  • Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.36 mg (31%)
  • Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.32 mg (27%)
  • Vitamin B6 0.5 mg (38%)
  • Folate (vit. B9) 184 μg (46%)
  • Calcium 36 mg (4%)
  • Iron 4.6 mg (35%)
  • Magnesium 197 mg (55%)
  • Phosphorus 457 mg (65%)
  • Potassium 563 mg (12%)
  • Zinc 3.1 mg (33%)
  • Percentages are roughly approximated from US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Quinoa was important to the diet of pre-Columbian Andean civilizations. Today, people appreciate quinoa for its nutritional value. Quinoa has been called a super food.  Protein content is very high for a cereal/pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa's protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats.[29] Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.

Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content. In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: Only 24 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout and release gases, as opposed to, e.g., 12 hours with wheat. This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the seeds, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods