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Diana Green I have been working with My Food since 2005 advising both customers and staff on nutrition and assisting with recipe design and analysis. Whenever a visit to My Food is due, the running joke is that Diana always asks the meeting to be at Lunch time! But what I love even more than sampling the delicious healthy meals is visiting the Store Room. It is there that I feel inspired and proud to see the quality raw ingredients ready for transformation into another culinary delight to be delivered to your door

Peruvian Quinoa

I have just returned from Darkest Peru in search of Paddington Bear’s distant relations and any Peruvian Delicacies that black spectacled bears might be partial to. Alas no marmalade to be found but I did find a very nice quinoa pudding which would have gone beautifully with marmalade. I am having to guess the recipe but I think there were eggs, milk, honey (bears like honey!) , lime and cinnamon. We tend to think of quinoa as a substitute for couscous in savoury dishes but in Peru it is commonly used (both the whole seed and flour) to create a sweet pudding or breakfast porridge. Look out everyone for the new My Food Paddington orange, lime, honey and quinoa breakfast.

Quinoa – Diet Delivery Ingredients

(MY Food’s secret tip for cooking quinoa is to not add ‘too much’ water before cooking. Add water whilst you cook to avoid it becoming all mushy).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with quinoa let me tell you more.

Quinoa Past & Present Quinoa has an interesting story from riches to rags and its recent return to riches. Quinoa is native to the Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. The quinoa plant can survive a wide variety of growing conditions and is exceptionally rich in nutrients. For these reasons the Inca Civilisation (12th century to 16th century) held the crop to be sacred. The Spanish colonists however declared it to be an inferior food which threatened the Christian Faith and suppressed its cultivation. Wheat, barley and potatoes were grown in place of quinoa which subsequently fell into obscurity until it was rediscovered in the 1970’s.

Due to its current recognition as a superfood, increased global demand has resulted in the tripling of the price of quinoa since 2006. Although this means greater prosperity for the Andean farmers it has become less affordable for the ordinary citizens which might be adversely affecting their health. However may be the truth is that the higher status western grains (rice, wheat) were already dominating Peruvian cuisine and it is only due to quinoa’s world rise to prominence that it has regained popularity in Peru and once again is being promoted for its health benefits. Read the full article here

Your Cupboard

In every Peruvian market stall I saw sacks of both quinoa grain and quinoa flour next to the rice, pasta, flours and beans. And so we should give it a place in our cupboards. Quinoa is available in nearly all the supermarkets so put it on your shopping list and try our quinoa and fruit compote recipe for breakfast.