Quinoa is getting plenty of attention these days, and for good reason – the light, fluffy grain (actually a seed related to spinach and kale) contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it an excellent source (about 20%) of complete protein. (In fact, the WHO claims that quinoa contains a better protein balance than any grain, being at least equal to milk in terms of protein quality). It’s gluten free, easily digested and a good source of dietary fiber. It’s high in B vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, vitamin E, iron and zinc. And guess what? You can sprout it! It’s easy, and a great little science experiment if you have kids around.
Germination activates natural enzymes and boosts vitamin content. Quinoa has a short germination period: only 2-4 hours resting in between paper towel soaked in water is enough to make it sprout; this softens the grains, making them a perfect addition to salads, sandwiches or to eat straight-up.
Take a few layers of paper towel, wet it and lay it flat; sprinkle with dry quinoa and cover with another couple layer of wet paper towel.
If you live in a dry climate, like I do, you may need to re-moisten it the next day, when it should look like this (above) – after about 3 days, it will have fully sprouted (like the image at the top) – add the teeny sprouts to sandwiches or salads. Keep extras in the fridge, and use them as soon as you can.
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