Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

In the pre-Columbian civilizations located in the Andes Mountains of  South America, quinoa was held sacred. The Incas called it, chisaya mama, or the mother of all grains.   It was so important to the well-being of these indigenous peoples that the Spanish conquistadors tried to eliminate all traces of quinoa in an effort to destroy the native cultures.   But Mother Nature won out,  (as she usually does), and currently there are 1,800 documented varieties that grow in the Andes.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is considered by many to be one of the world’s super-foods.  This plant, which is actually closely related to spinach, beet and chard rather than grains like corn and wheat, contains all nine essential amino acids which are necessary for a proper diet.   The seeds of the quinoa plant are a bit chewy and crunchy after cooking and have a slightly nutty flavor.   They can be made into soups, pilafs, stirred into porridges and even ground into flour.  Some even use it to make beer.   It’s been a staple of the food supply of many diverse South American cultures over the centuries.   This food source’s amazing nutritional value and its ability to grow at very high altitudes in freezing temperatures with very little rainfall have ensured its lasting legacy as a gift of the gods.

~J.K. Ingersoll~

 

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