Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quinoa Food Comfort. It grows on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And you have to try Quinoa Muffins! Some say it is for the birds, only because it is used for bird seed, but it has protein benefits according to the info I found.
Quinoa Uses besides bird feeders

So, how do you cook it?

We used to have to wash all of our quinoa. Now Ancient Harvest produces washed quinoa, which you can also sprout.

Conventional Method:
Place 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of boiling water. Turn down the heat and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes.
You can tell the quinoa is thoroughly cooked when it becomes translucent and the crescent-shaped germ separates and becomes white. It looks like a little tail. After the quinoa has been cooked, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Pressure cooking:
Place 1 cup of quinoa, a dash of salt and 1 Tbsp. oil into 1½ cups of boiling water. Place lid on the pressure cooker. Bring to 8 pounds of pressure. Turn down heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and you will have perfectly cooked quinoa.

Quinoa can be used for breakfast, served with fruit or with maple syrup. It can be used in a pilaf with sautéed onions and peppers. You can stuff baked potatoes with quinoa, corn and chopped peppers or chili’s. You can use quinoa in salads and even place a cup or 2 of cooked quinoa in your bread. You can also mix it with millet and sunflower seeds. You can stuff squash with a pilaf mixture. Most of us are limiting our intake of dairy products, but a little cheese melted over the stuffed baked potatoes or stuffed squash make it a very special treat.
  1. Quinoa Muffins from Martha Stewart. (she has a video for those who need an extra hand with the process)

    Makes 12

    · 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

    · 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan

    · 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

    · 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar

    · 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    · 1 teaspoon salt

    · 1/2 cup raisins, I prefer chopped dates

    · 3/4 cup whole milk

    · 1 large egg

    · 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.

    3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

    4. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.

And some useful information from my tree huggin friends

Quinoa is surely a candidate for a feature cover of Time magazine. The UN already recognise it as the only vegetable source to be a complete protein. It is a seed grain, or super grain, that has the same nutritional profile as milk. It contains all the essential amino acids required for human health. No wonder NASA have it on their list as a crop of choice for self-sustaining ecosystems in long duration, manned spaceflight. Back on Earth, we’ve been eating it for an estimated 6,000 years. Well, those of us with Andean lineage have. It grows best above 11,000 ft (3,350m), in the mountains of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. The seeds are coated with a protective waxy covering, known as saponin, that in unpalatable, and deters birds and animals from munching. A natural, inbuilt, non-harmful pest control. This can be washed off for human consumption. Quinoa has a nutty sort of texture (I personally much prefer it to cous cous), and is said have a subtle 'crunch', resembling that of caviar. But far from that extravagant delicacy, this wonder grain is ...

... grown by poor peasant farmers, struggling to make ends meet. Inca Organics is company trying to change that. Founded by ex-Peace Corps workers, it aims to broaden the market for Quinoa, so that farm families might realise a gentler way of life. Already, with small markets established in the UK, US and Australia, they believe they’ve raised the household income from $250 to $500 USD per annum. (Ecuador set their poverty level at $360.) Inca Organics believe their organic Quinoa to be superior to most others, because of the fair trade manner, with which they deal with their farmers, and particularly due to the method they use for removal and disposal of the saponin.

Please ask me for permission to use my photos or writing before you purger (plagiarize) yourself. silly silly

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Banana This; Recycle Old Peels~ fertilizer or silver polish

There are things you can do with that old peel.

1. Do you have a green thumb? House hold plants and outside gardens require fertilization. A great way to give your plants nutrients is with a banana peel. The banana peel is very rich in potassium and phosphorus, which give that added boost to your plants soil, especially so with roses. Here is how to use a banana peel to fertilizer your soil for your plants. Remove the peel from the banana. Place the banana peel on a cookie sheet to let it air dry. Grab a paper bag or envelope. Crumble the dried banana peel and place it in the bag. Let the banana sit at room temperature for about two days. When your caring for your plant, give it a potassium treat of crumbled banana peel. Mix well in the soil to ensure the roots are fed evenly.
2. Have you been thinking about pulling out that old silver? Well there is no time like the present. Bananas peel can also be used to polish silver. Yes, polish silver. Take the old peels and place them in a blender. You want the peels to become smooth and creamy. Once they have, grab a cloth and small amounts of the creamed banana peel and begin polishing your silver. The shine will be breath taking.


Wild yeasts exist in the air around you and to some extent on the wheat berries. There are wild yeasts on grapes (unsulphured) and apples and other fruits. It is those wild yeasts which are 'captured' to make a sourdough starter. The process takes from 3 to 5 days. I wish I had specific amounts for you, but you could start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and mix in enough warm (not hot) water to make a thin paste. DO NOT make it too soupy. That, in fact, is the trick to a good starter, according to the French bread makers, and I think they should know. And after you've fooled around with the flour and water thing, you might wish to branch out into adding those unsulphured grapes, apples, sour milk, etc as a catalyst in order to capture other strains of yeast. Each of these strains has a slightly different taste. In fact if you move to another area, you might end up with a starter that produces an entirely different flavor. For instance, San Francisco sourdough bread is well known and has a distinct taste due to the wild strains in the air there. On day one you mix the flour and water (and add any catalysts to encourage fermentation) and place in a warm spot. After 3 days, the dough should be moist, inflated, and slightly sour. More flour and water is added (mixed in) and left to sit in a warm spot. After 2 days the process is repeated. Then the next day it is done again. Note the order: 3 days, 2 days, 1 day. At this point you should be able to make a loaf of bread using part of the starter and adding back what you took out in the form of more flour and water. Rule of thumb: Use about 10% starter to size of loaf. In the case of a 2 lb loaf this is a bit over 3 oz of starter (3.2 to be exact). For a 1 lb loaf 1.5 oz would be used. A book that describes this process in great detail is The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz, copyright 1993, published by Ten Speed Press, Berkley CA. If it's not still in print, try the used books stores, that's where I got mine. Or try your local library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get it for you. ©2008 by Ernestina Parziale

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Have a Great Day!