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Sprouts always look a little alien to me, yet I find them beautiful in their own seedy way. When you plan to have company over to your house and are looking for a conversation piece… have some seeds sprouting on your countertop. Also, sprouting is an exciting thing to do with your kids, for them to see how you can sprout life from seeds, is downright fun. Well, anyway I think so. :)
Quinoa (pronounced keen wa) is both nutritious and delicious. It is the only grain-like food that offers a complete protein, a feature that makes it a favorite with those avoiding animal products. One 3 1/2 ounce (uncooked) serving provides 14 grams of protein, and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, containing both soluble and insoluble fiber. It is also high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, especially manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Not to mention it also hits the list of being gluten-free and easy to digest. But wait there’s more… by being very low on the glycemic index, it won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike, and it provides a sustained feeling of fullness.
In their natural state, quinoa seeds are covered with a coating of bitter-tasting saponins that makes them unappealing to eat. Boxed quinoa has usually been rinsed of saponins but I always rinse my quinoa once again. To make sure the saponins are gone, pour quinoa into a strainer and rinse under running water. If a soapy film appears, the quinoa has not been pre-rinsed, so rinse it until the soapiness disappears. If no soapy film appears, you are all good, better to be safe than sorry. The soapy taste can ruin a recipe! Wonder how I know that? ;)
Raw quinoa can be sprouted to activate its natural enzymes and boost its vitamin content. It only takes about 4 hours to sprout quinoa, but you can sprout it for up to 48 hours to grow little tails. Sprouted quinoa can be added directly to salads and other foods however, it is best eaten within 2 or 3 days.