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Q For Quinoa And Quatre-Epices

Today's generation is of fast foods, sugary drinks, and processed foods. However, we also have a huge crowd of people who want to improve their eating habits. They are willing to bring lifestyle changes to get their health back or to just stay fit, active and immune to diseases. They want to eat right and justified. Most of us belong to this category. Isn't it?

Although our local Indian food is full of nutrients. Lentils full of protein, dairy products, fruits, veggies and dry fruits. But we always tempt for something exotic. We get to hear about exotic wonder foods that are so popular for their magical health benefits and low-calorie count. The list includes oats, wheatgrass to chia and flax seeds and of course, the super-grain-Quinoa.

Q For Quinoa
Grown in South America for thousands of years, quinoa is becoming a choice for all health cautious people all across the world. Quinoa is basically a seed. But to make it easier for dieticians, nutritionists and health coach it is often categorized as a grain. It gives same texture and experience that you get from a grain. Pronounced ‘keen-wa’, Quinoa is considered a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. It has nice light fluffy texture and little nutty flavor.

Health Benefits Of Quinoa
  • Quinoa is high in protein. As a matter of fact, it is the only grain that is a COMPLETE protein.
  • It is low in glycemic index. Glycemic Index is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Grains with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized. Thus they cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels.
  • It is gluten-free. Full of fiber and is great for digestion. Quinoa is assumed as a viable substitute for wheat and other grains that are not gluten-free. 
  • It is packed with vitamins and minerals. With potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin E and B6, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, iron and magnesium, it also has the lowest ratio of carbohydrates as compared to any other grain.
  • Quinoa has more calcium for you than cow's milk (I don't believe this but this is what I read).

Q For Quinoa And Quatre-Epices - Vibhu & Me
The reason for Quinoa getting popular day by day is that it cooks really quickly. And you can add Quinoa to your diet in a variety of ways. You can either boil it with plain water and once it is fluffy, can add it to your curries, salads, lentils etc. Or you can use Quinoa powder to knead a dough for Quinoa chapati or make a batter for Quinoa dosa. The year 2013 was named "The International Year of Quinoa" by the UN because of its valuable benefits and potential to fight world hunger.

How to buy
Every supermarket these days sell Quinoa in a grand quantity. Honestly, I never tried it and that is why I can't really help in giving a tip here. However, it is like how we buy oats, a box full of Quinoa seeds.

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To Be honest, I could not find any spice starting with Q. While I was searching hard, I got the mention of Quatre-Epices in almost every A to Z post on spices. So, I thought to give it a place in my post as well. This spice mix is close to what we use as a Chai Masala here in India and Quatre-Epices is a French spice mix.

Q For Quatre-Epices
The literal translation of quatre epices is four spices; however, quatre epices rarely contains JUST four spices, but can have anything up to five or six spices in the mixture! These four spices are traditionally combined for the ancient French spice bread, pain d’epice.

1. White pepper, 2. Nutmeg, 3.Cinnamon and 4. Ginger

People often make a choice between Cloves and Cinnamon for their taste. But this classic four-spice mix is very common in French cooking. It is used to season everything, from soups to grilled chicken, in the French kitchen. The traditional version uses white pepper, but black pepper can be used as a substitution.

How to buy
Buy whole spices and grind them at home. Not sure if the ready-made spice mix is available in India.
(I am taking part in #BlogchatterA2Z and today’s letter is 'Q'.)

You can read my other #BlogchatterA2Z posts here :
  1. A For Alkanet Root - A Magical Spice
  2. B For Black Salt - A Digestive Stimulant
  3. C For Cinnamon - God of Spices
  4. D for Dried Ginger - A More Beneficial Form of Ginger
  5. E For Edible Silver and Gold Foils
  6. F For Fennel Seeds - More Than A Mouth Freshener
  7. G for Green Cardamom - The Queen of Spices
  8. H For Holy Basil - The King of Herb
  9. I For Indian Gooseberry - A Super food
  10. J For Jaggery - A Medicinal Sugar
  11. K For Kalpasi - An Unknown Treasure 
  12. L For Long Pepper - An Underrated Spice
  13. M For Mace - The Cousin of Nutmeg 
  14. N For Nutmeg - The Pricey Spice
  15. O For Onion Seeds - The Flavor Master
  16. P For Poppy Seeds - The Nutty Savor

Comments

  1. I have been looking to try out this grain for health reasons and hesitate as the supermarkets packaging leave me flummoxed.

    Q is for Quirky Roald Dahl #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete

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