Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Return Of The Ancient Grain - Quinoa

Quinoa pronounced "keen-wah" has recently moved from health food shops to the supermarket aisle. It is quick and easy to cook as well as gluten free which is great for those with wheat allergies. It is an excellent substitute for couscous or rice and can be used in almost every type of meal - breakfast smoothies and cereals, hearty casseroles, salads, soups, and your favourite baked sweet treat.

It is labelled as an ancient grain because it has been grown for domestic consumption in the Andes Mountains of Equador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia for over 3000 - 4000 years. It is not a true cereal or grain because it is not a member of the grass family. Instead, quinoa is closely related to the species of beetroots and spinach. It is now grown in Australia and it is actually the seeds that are harvested and eaten.

Quinoa comes in 3 different colours: white, red and black with slightly varying tastes and nutritional qualities. It has an exceptional nutritional profile, packed with low-GI carbohydrates and fibre, along with B vitamins (including folic acid) and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. It is also a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids, making it essential for vegetarians and vegans.

How to cook it
One cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water or stock. Bring it to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the covered saucepan on the stovetop for another 3 minutes. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and allow to cool. Try my Quinoa Summer Salad from November last year.

Moist Chocolate Cake     
serves 8-16

2/3 cup white quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups rapadura sugar or coconut sugar (available form health food stores) or 1 cup maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the stovetop for another 3 minutes. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease two 20cm round or square cake tins. Line the bottoms of the tins with baking paper.

Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until smooth. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Add the contents of the blender evenly between the two tins and bake on the centre oven rack for 40 -45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool completely before removing from the tins.

Serve with cream and berries. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689


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