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Quinoa brings new life to traditional fruit recipes

One of the best things about summer is sweet, juicy fruit so refreshing to eat on a hot day.

Quinoa Revolution, a new cookbook by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, has great tasting recipes that combine quinoa with summer fruit.

Quinoa is a nutritional super food that is versatile and convenient. It fits into any diet, whether vegan, gluten-free, weight-loss, athletic, diabetic or heart healthy and also caters to those who want to try new recipes.

Quinoa is a small seed from the spinach family of plants. The seeds are a complete, low fat protein that is nutritionally equivalent to whole milk protein, both soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamins E, B2, B6, folic acid and biotin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.

Its mild flavour blends well with other foods, it cooks in 15 minutes and is available whole as white, red or black seeds or processed into flour, flakes or puffs.

Blueberry sprout smoothie

  • 1 c. fresh or frozen 250 mLblueberries
  • 1/4 c. quinoa sprouts 50 mL
  • 1/2 c. fresh spinach 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. low fat plain yogurt 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. skim milk 125 mL

Combine ingredients in a blender and puree. Serves two.

  • Nutritional information per serving: energy 120 calories, protein 7 g, carbohydrates 22 g, dietary fibre 2 g, fat 1 g, sugar 15 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 80 mg.

To sprout quinoa seeds:

  • distilled water
  • 1/2 c. quinoa 125 mL

Quinoa is one of the fastest sprouting seeds, germinating in two to four hours. The sprouts are best when eaten small because they are crisper and stay fresh longer.

Wash your hands and a glass or ceramic casserole or mason jar. Add the quinoa and enough distilled water to cover the seeds, stir with a clean spoon and soak for 40 minutes at room temperature.

Drain the seeds into a fine-mesh strainer and then rinse with more distilled water. Rinse the container with distilled water and return the wet quinoa to it.

Cover with the lid slightly ajar or use cheesecloth and an elastic. The seeds need air circulation to prevent mould. Place in a cool dark location or in the refrigerator.

Rinse every eight to 10 hours until the quinoa has sprouted to the desired length. It will be ready to eat anytime after about eight hours. Store in the refrigerator in a glass or ceramic container with the lid slightly ajar.

Use within three days. Do not soak or store in a plastic container.

Vanilla creme crepes with fresh fruit breakfast

It makes 12 six-inch (15 cm) crepes and serves six.

Crepes:

  • 1/3 c. quinoa flour 75 mL
  • 1/4 c. brown rice flour or whole wheat flour 60 mL
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch 10 mL
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 c. milk 250 mL

Filling:

  • 3 c. low-fat plain thick Greek yogurt 750 mL
  • 1/3 c. pure maple syrup or honey 75 ml
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 7 mL
  • 3 c. sliced fresh strawberries, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, saskatoons or a mixture of fruits

For the crepes, stir together the quinoa flour, rice flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, egg whites and milk. Whisk until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled six-inch (15 cm) skillet on medium-high heat. Pour two tablespoons (30 mL) of batter into the centre of the pan, tilt the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter over the bottom of the pan.
Flip the crepe when the edges begin to curl, at about 30 to 45 seconds. Cook the other side for another 30 seconds, then remove from the pan. Place the hot crepe on a plate and cover with foil. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Note: Four whole eggs can be used if desired.
For the filling, mix together the yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla.
Place a crepe on a plate and spoon 1/4 cup (60 mL) each of filling and fruit in the centre.
Fold sides over. Serve garnished with additional fruit.

  • Nutritional information per serving using strawberries: energy 250 calories, protein 16 g, carbohydrates 36 g, dietary fibre 3 g, fat 5 g, sugar 22g: cholesterol 70 mg, sodium 105 mg.

Stewed summer fruit with cinnamon and lemon

This is an updated version of fruit soup with less sugar and the benefit of quinoa. It serves eight.

  • 3 1/3 c. water 825 mL
  • 2/3 c. quinoa 150 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. sliced fresh or frozen unsweetened rhubarb 375 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. halved fresh or frozen strawberries 375 mL
  • 1/2 c. quartered pitted prunes 125 mL
  • 1/3 c. seedless raisins or dried currants 75 mL
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp. honey 45 mL
  • 1 cinnamon stick 250 mL
  • 1 c. non-fat plain thick Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup 15 mL

Remove seeds from the lemon and slice it into chunks if you want to remove it after cooking. If serving the lemon with the fruit, slice thinly.
In a large saucepan, combine water, quinoa, rhubarb, strawberries, prunes, raisins, lemon, honey and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the strawberries and rhubarb have cooked down and become part of the sauce.
Remove from the heat, stir and remove the cinnamon stick and lemon pieces. Let cool slightly before serving, or chill, if desired.
Stir the yogurt and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Spoon stewed fruit into individual serving dishes. Serve hot or cold topped with the maple yogurt.

  • Nutritional information per serving (1/8 of recipe): energy 160 calories, protein 5 g, carbohydrates 33 g, dietary fibre 3 g, fat 1 g, sugar 17 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 15 mg

Source for recipes: Quinoa Revolution.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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