What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a kind of vegetable seed that is in the same family of spinach. It is an ancient crop domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago in South America (Balick et al, 2002).
Originating from the Andes, it was important to the diet of pre-Columbian Andean civilisations who depended on this exceptional seed for its nutrition to give them stamina and strength (Keen Benjamin, 2008).
Although commonly used as a substitute for grain like rice or barley, it is in fact a made believe cereal as it is derived from plants other than grasses.
While true cereals are grasses, quinoa does not belong to the grass family. Instead it is a seed of a leafy plant related to spinach, beets and chard. There are three main types of quinoa differentiated by their color – white, red and black.
White quinoa is most common, while black quinoa is considered rare.