Quinoa, the protein-packed seed that everybody likes to eat, has taken ahold of our pantries. Regardless that it hails from South America ― most famously Bolivia and Peru ― many houses north of the equator have discovered methods to incorporate it into our breakfasts as a porridge, and we’re joyful to fry it up into patties for dinner. To not point out all of the alternative ways you possibly can flip it right into a salad.
Since quinoa has develop into such a staple in our food regimen, we thought it was time to know the place these tiny seeds come from. In different phrases, how does it develop? For those who don’t already know, you’re about to.
Quinoa is harvested from tall inexperienced vegetation. Whereas the plant sprouts are slow-growing at first, the plant ultimately shoots as much as and past three toes. The leaves of the plant resemble that of the edible weed lamb’s-quarter. The 2 are carefully associated, which implies that the leaves of quinoa are additionally edible (so in the event you develop your personal, be at liberty to toss them right into a salad).
Quinoa thrives in cooler climate, and is extraordinarily drought tolerant. It could additionally tolerate excessive ranges of salt, wind and frost, which permits it to be cultivated in excessive threat areas. That’s why it was a primary crop within the Andes, cultivated by the Incas since earlier than 3,000 B.C.
The a part of the quinoa plant that we sometimes eat is the seed. (Keep in mind, quinoa is a seed and not a grain.) To be able to get the seed, the plant first must flower. That is what flowering quinoa appears like:
And it is a closeup of the flower buds.
Quinoa is able to harvest when all of the inexperienced leaves have fallen off the plant, and the vegetation are simply seed heads on a stalk. Quinoa must be very dry when harvested, dry sufficient that you would be able to’t dent the seed along with your fingernail. Typically it’s left to dry on the stalk, different occasions it’s dried put up harvest.
As soon as harvested, the quinoa seed is pretty straightforward to take away from the seed heads. A tough shake can launch most of them.
However in industrial manufacturing they could use one thing somewhat extra superior. Quinoa must be polished or rinsed earlier than consuming to take away the seeds’ saponin coating ― the plant’s pure protectant from birds and bugs ― which can style fairly bitter.
Now that you understand how this seed makes it to your grocery retailer, choose some up and take a look at it in a single or two of those recipes.
Quinoa for breakfast