Quinoa: Properties, Benefits, Side-Effects?
Quinoa , a seed full of virtues
Once reserved for a niche market , the (or ) 1 quinoa has for several years sold in supermarkets such as pasta or rice. More recently, even the United Nations (UN ) that was honored by declaring 2013 the "International Year of Quinoa " . This small seed from Latin America has been a " World Congress " , which was held in Ecuador ( 8 to 12 July 2013 ) 2. But in the end , quinoa, what is it?
The craze of the United States and Europe for Quinoa is related to nutritional properties of its seeds , rich in protein and gluten free , but also its history, its production almost exclusively organic and trade often labeled fair . Thierry Winkel3 , a researcher at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), quinoa studied for more than twelve years. It answers questions that often arises on this small seed.
A "pseudo -cereal " 7000 years old
Quinoa is chénopodiacée as beet or spinach . It is often referred to as "pseudo -cereal " because the true cereals such as rice , wheat , maize or millet, belong to a different botanical family: Poaceae , also known as grass . This explains some of its features, including the fact that its leaves are edible too .
Domesticated in South America there are nearly 7000 years by the Andean peoples , quinoa is very hardy , able to grow from 0 to 4200 meters above sea level in extremely harsh conditions ( poor soils, wind , drought, frozen ... ) . " The peasant producers were able to create and maintain dozens of local varieties adapted to the great Andean regions and a variety of culinary uses but also medicinal and ritual ," says Thierry Winkel . The colors of quinoa plants , including stems, leaves and flowers can be green , orange , pink or red , spotted or not, reflect this diversity.
However, the majority of production gives grain white cream after washing. This step is essential to get rid of the saponins that protect but give them a bitter taste. Those we buy are already washed. These are generally varieties of the group " Quinoa Real white-grained " in light nutty taste according to his fans . More rarely , there are varieties of " red or black Quinoa Real" , the smaller grains.
The nutritional qualities of quinoa
HIGH PROTEIN CONTENT " BALANCED
The quinoa seed is high in protein . They represent between 12 and 20% of its dry weight depending on the variety , 3-5 g per 100 g when cooked , so that more rice or pasta. More importantly, these proteins are of excellent quality. " The quinoa seed is suitable for vegetarians and , more broadly, to all those who wish to limit their consumption of meat without unbalancing their diet ," said Thierry Winkel . " It provides complete protein , containing all the amino acids we need while often lacking one, two or three in the other plants. "
VITAMINS , MINERALS , FIBER AND GOOD FATTY ACID
The quinoa seed is rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and trace elements (iron, copper , potassium, phosphorus, manganese ... ) . It contains as much fiber as whole grains, useful to moderate glycemic index meal , increase satiety and stimulate lazy transits.
She is fat as cereals since lipids represent about 5% of its dry weight . However, it is very reasonable and it is essentially "good" fatty acids which include the famous Omega 3.
ALL GLUTEN FREE !
Another advantage of the quinoa seed is that it contains no gluten, a protein found in certain grains, especially wheat and wheat products ( bread, pasta, semolina cakes ... ) . Allergic individuals ( presence of specific antibodies or celiac disease ) should pass in life. Although these diseases are rare , a portion of the population suffers from intolerance manifested by abdominal pain after eating gluten. In all these cases , quinoa helps diversify the supply without risking deficiencies. And quinoa recipes are numerous.
Quinoa, almost exclusively organic and fair often.
Partly mechanized today , most of quinoa production meets the criteria for organic farming. It has increased fivefold since the 1970s. " Initially , it was for Bolivia, meet the demand of the local population and Peru ," said Thierry Winkel . " Then, in the 80s, to the United States and Europe seeking alternatives to cereal vegetarian or gluten intolerant people. Exporting is amplified in the 90s, and especially in 2000 , through the development of organic chains and fair trade. "
However, the boom in exports of quinoa has raised fears of negative local effects on the natural environment or consumption of Andean populations that could not meet their own needs. Thierry Winkel , who analyzed the situation4 precisely , there is no cause for alarm : " The peasant producers are aware of the dangers associated with the increased demand with the support of non-governmental organizations and . their associations, they have developed production standards that preserve their land. Moreover, in the Andes, the traditional staple is the potato , not the quinoa. Considered a heavy food, it is present in many meals but in small quantities. "
The current application has the advantage of keeping the price of quinoa at a level consistent with an economy of solidarity , yet argues the researcher. So far , Bolivia manages to satisfy providing , over the years, up to 90% of foreign markets. However, the goodness of the "seed gold " led other countries to show interest even before it is promoted by the UN. Its cultivation has spread in South America and in recent years it has experienced on all continents (North America , Asia, Australia , Europe, Africa ... ) .
In France are grown in the Val -de- Loire a variety of quinoa developed in the Netherlands , less rustic than the highlands but managed to acclimatize. Production remains low and , for the moment, is not certified "organic farming" .
Some quinoa in every dish !
The quinoa seed is sold in packages such as pasta , bulgur or rice. It is also found in the form of flakes, flour reduced or blown . Excluding special situations ( vegetarian , celiac diets ... ), it is not necessary to power but reduces its consumption of meat, enjoy its nutritional qualities and varied menus .
Thierry Winkel however, we use it too often as pasta or rice ( or semolina quinoa tabouleh ... ) while it is richer and more likely to weigh on the stomach. The researcher explains: " In the Andean cuisine , quinoa is mostly used to enrich soups or make cupcakes is also used to prepare drinks . Teaspoon of quinoa seeds and cinnamon stick boiled a few minutes in apple juice provide a nourishing drink popular in the Andes. "
The quinoa seed can advantageously replace pasta or tapioca in soups, drinks and desserts. Salad, garnish or full meal , the researcher recommends the mix with other grains or vegetables. In white rice , for example, red or black varieties bring more originality to the pleasure. In breads and cakes, its seed adds crunch and color. Quinoa can also replace some of their flour , about a fifth of the total weight so that the dough does not lose elasticity .