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Quinoa (chenopodium quinoa)
A South American grass (pronounced 'keen-wa') which has been cultivated for centuries in the Andes for the sake of its leaves, which are eaten much like spinach, and its grain (which is gluten-free) and was an important part of the Inca's staple diet.
It's very nutritious, having more protein than any other grain, both in quantity and quality, and also contains more fat than other grains and more calcium than milk.
In Peru, its grain/seeds are also used in soups and cakes as well as brewing a kind of beer. These seeds are popular with the health-food fraternity in Britain, often because of its gluten-free qualities. The plants are still one of the chief foods for Andean Indians.
Quinoa can be cooked in the same way as other grains, such as rice (if 1 cup of quinoa is cooked gently with one cup of water the liquid will be absorbed) and is sometimes found as an ingredient in breakfast cereals. See also 'Good King Henry'
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