Herbs & Superfoods - - Top 25 Super Foods -

Quinoa ( Chenopodium quinoa) is gluten-free, high in pro­tein and one of the few plant foods that con­tain all nine es­sen­tial amino acids. It is high in the B-vi­ta­mins, vi­ta­min E, fi­bre, mag­ne­sium, iron, po­tas­sium, cal­cium, phos­pho­rus, and var­i­ous ben­e­fi­cial an­tiox­i­dants.

Quinoa is gen­er­ally an un­de­mand­ing crop. Sow seeds in a sunny spot in free-drain­ing soil in late Novem­ber for har­vest­ing in Fe­bru­ary. You can stag­ger sow­ing if you wish so that col­lect­ing seeds is also stag­gered.

Plants with­stand light frosts at most stages of their de­vel­op­ment ex­cept when flow­er­ing, but if you sow in spring this won’t be a prob­lem.

Seeds are best har­vested when the weather is dry. They are ready to har­vest when the first ripe seeds fall eas­ily from the flower head. As soon as you see this hap­pen, cut the flower heads and lay them on a sheet in a warm, dry spot for sev­eral days to dry. The seeds will fall off read­ily when fully ripe.

Soak seeds for sev­eral hours to re­move the bit­ter saponins.

Seeds are avail­able from Koanga In­sti­tute.

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