Apellewa Quinoa - Mother Grain
Stout 3' plants produce medium to large yields of very plump seeds with pale pink to cream seed-heads .
With its large seed-heads and broad leaves it looks something like a cross between sorghum and spinach. It is an annual, broad-leaved and grows from 3 - 6 ft tall with seeds in sprays at the top. Very cold and drought hardy, yet tolerates higher temperatures and poor soils. Highly productive, it is an ideal grain crop for the home gardener. Seeds are ready to harvest when the leaves have dropped and you can barely dent the seeds with your fingernail.
Quinoa or Mother Grain is a food so historically vital to the Inka that it is still considered sacred to this day. Inkan culture referred to it as "chisiya mama" or “mother grain.” Each spring, the Inka emperor opened the soil with a golden spade and planted the first seed. Quinoa is still the major source of protein in the high plains of South America, of such high quality it often replaces meat in the diet. Outside the highlands of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, however, the cultivation of quinoa is virtually unknown.
Quinoa is rich in protein and has a better amino acid balance than most true cereals, making it an ideal choice for gluten-free foods. Traditionally toasted or ground into flour, used like barley in soups and stews, or soaked and cooked for breakfast. Has a nutty flavor when cooked, especially toasted. To prepare for cooking, remove the bitter outer saponin coating by soaking in water for several hours, changing the water a couple of times. This removes the bitterness and makes it easier to cook with.
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