Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains which makes it great for us peeps with a busy travel schedule. It is an extremely high-energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America, having a remarkable tolerance for different growing conditions. Quinoa is able to survive high altitudes, thin and cold air, hot sun, salty or sandy soil, little rainfall, and sub-freezing temperatures.. which makes it the perfect fuel for flyers. Inca warriors ate balls of quinoa and fat to keep them going on long marches and in battle and more recently NASA has proposed quinoa as an ideal food for long-duration space flights.
Quinoa can be used in a variety of way which makes it versatile and fun to eat. It can be reheated with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; or you can add dried fruit, coconut nectar, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad or add chopped cooked root vegetables for a warming side dish. Uncooked quinoa can be kept in a sealed glass jar and stored in a cool, dry and dark place for up to a year.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
Has a protein content equal to milk
High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E
Gluten free; easy to digest
Ideal for endurance
Strengthen the kidneys, heart and lungs
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup rinsed and preferably soaked quinoa. Quinoa must be rinsed prior to cooking to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa produces a soapy solution in water.
Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear.
Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 12mins with the lid on, until all the water has been absorbed.
I like to add a piece of kombu to the cooking water, to help make the proteins more digestible. I am sure none of you want to be bloated or crop dusting at 30,000 feet.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5mins, covered.
Morning peeps, I just thought I’d send you out this amazing recipe that I whipped up last night before bed. Luckily I prepared this earlier, as I had a home standby that started at 4am and it looks like I am heading off on a five day trip. I was planning to post my boyfriends birthday cake today, but since I’m not going to be seeing him, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
These little numbers are great for an onboard, all natural, energy hit and damn tasty.
100g chopped walnuts
2 tbsp milled flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (I used Linwoods brand)
170g medjool dates, pitted and chopped
100g soft dried figs, chopped
100g prunes, pitted and chopped
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp mesquite
2 tbsp coconut nectar
pinch of Himalayan salt
100g freshly shredded coconut for coating
Combine the walnuts, almonds and seed mix in a food processor and blend until fine crumbs. Add the dates, figs and prunes and whizz until smooth. Add the tahini, cacao powder, mesquite, coconut nectar, and Himalayan salt and blend until the mixture starts to form a ball.
Divide into golf ball-sized portions and roll into balls between lightly wet palms. Roll in coconut and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (lucky or these could have been wasted)
This recipe was inspired by Jill Dupleix from Good Food.
Ingredients can be substituted to suit your taste, as long as in the same ratio and similar texture.
You should get approximately one dozen balls from this mixture, so spread the love!