Many of us are afraid of quinoa. It’s got odd, curly protrusions. No one knows how to pronounce it. It’s confusing to decide what to do with it. Believe me, I understand.
Quinoa is a complete protein – that means it contains all the essential amino acids we need. (Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are crucial to countless body processes). So for vegans and vegetarians, don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible to acquire ‘proper’ protein unless you eat meat!
Here are a few things you might not know about quinoa:
• It’s high in manganese, a mineral that supports our bones and joints and provides antioxidant protection.
• It’s full of magnesium, a mineral that’s a natural tranquilizer and muscle relaxant. Since it relaxes blood vessels, it can be helpful to those with migraine headaches or heart problems.
• It’s got plenty of iron, an indispensable component of hemoglobin (the protein that transports oxygen throughout our bodies).
• It’s delicious. Seriously.
• (Can you tell I just had a test on minerals?)
This is an easy-to-prepare, aromatic loaf, with a slightly crispy shell and moist insides. It’s not too sweet, either, so it’s perfect for any time of the day. Next time I’ll add more grated apple – as there wasn’t enough apple-y flavour for me.
Do you have a favourite way to use quinoa?
As an aside, I’m super excited and honoured to be a featured blogger today on Foodpress.com, which is an aggregation of recipes from WordPress.com bloggers. Yay! It’s got lots of yummy-looking food, so do check it out if you get the chance.
Quinoa Apple Cake
Adapted from Anja’s Food 4 Thought
¼ cup quinoa flour
¼ cup garfava flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 large apple, coarsely grated
¼ cup organic cane sugar
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup uncooked quinoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
¼ cup gogi berries (or raisins)
Cinnamon Oat Topping
¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the grated apple, oil, quinoa, vanilla, sunflower seeds and goji berries. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Combine all ingredients for the topping and sprinkle them on top of the cake batter. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool before cutting into slices.