Quinoa – a complete plant based Protein

PROTEIN

Proteins are essential to the building and repair of the body’s tissues and to basic functions like growth, digestion and excretion. However, where to find excellent plant based protein, if you are looking for an alternative to meat, eggs, and dairy or highly processed soy products as a protein source?

Here is one true nutritional treasure box worth considering in your food repertoire:

QUINOA

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Quinoa is a so called “complete protein” containing all 8 of the essential amino acids. One cup of quinoa has around 9 grams of protein, which tops the protein-rich egg with only about 6 grams.   Quinoa is a low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. It is rich in fiber but low in glycemic index. The tiny seeds of a South American grass are high in vitamins, minerals and protein, while low in fat and calories.

I love to sprout quinoa to boost its nutritional value even more. Sprouting activates natural enzymes and multiplies the vitamin content. Quinoa sprouts easily within 3 hours rest in plain water. Other seeds take much more time for example.

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Here is one of my personal favorites with sprouted quinoa:

Quinoa Grissini
for around 30 sleek and crispy Grissini

What to buy
20 g quinoa, germinated in 200 ml water for around 6 hours at room temperature, strained
150 ml water
1 teaspoon acacia honey or agave syrup
5 gm fresh yeast
200 gm whole spelt flour
15 ml olive oil
1 pinch of salt

How to make it
For the dough mix gently water, yeast and agave syrup or honey. Then add the flour, and beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it is soft and elastic. Allow the dough to rest and rise for around 10 minutes at room temperature. Add then a pinch of salt and the olive oil. Eventually add some more flour and beat the dough again until it starts cleaning the bowl you work the dough in.
Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. Portion the dough into 30 very small pieces and roll each piece to a thin grissino. Roll each stick in quinoa and place the sticks on the baking tray. Use a ruler or a straight stick to ensure your grissinis are straight.  Allow them to rise again for around 10 minutes. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees and bake the grissinis for 3 – 5 minutes until the dough is golden and crispy.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
These grissinis can be kept for a couple of days – however they taste wonderful when they come fresh out of the oven and I am sure they will be eaten immediately.
I serve it very often with chilled soups like a spicy green pea gazpacho.

Click to view our next post: Chilled Green Pea Gazpacho, which you can enjoy with the Quinoa grissini. You might also want to try sprouted Quinoa Tablouleh.

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