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Published on June 17, 2020

Food Fun Facts

kids in chef hats

Quinoa

  • Quinoa is pronounced “KEEN-wah”. Researches date quinoa back to 3000 BC, when it became widespread in the Andes mountains regions of South America.
  • We generally consider quinoa a grain, or part of the cereal grasses family, but it is actually a member of the same food family that contains spinach, swiss chard, and beets.
  • Quinoa cooks in 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, and simmered for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  • Quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also has 8 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa.
  • Quinoa is a good source of tocopherals, a relative a Vitamin E, which are largely absent in most grains. It is also a good source of folate, zinc, and phosphorus.
  • Miso is made from fermented soybeans. This thick paste is salty and most often used in Japanese-style miso soup and other Japanese cuisine. It’s a great way to add some fermented products and antioxidants to your meal – but watch the serving size! One tablespoon has 640 mg of sodium.
  • Cashews are lower in fat than most other nuts, and the fat that they do have is 82% unsaturated fatty acids. Cashews are also an excellent source of copper, and a good source of phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and zinc.

Farro

  • Some say that faro is the original ancestor of wheat. It was a staple food in ancient Rome and was even used as a form of currency. It has since lost popularity because it is a low yielding wheat compared to other varieties. Today, it is still popular in Italy, arts of Europe, Asia, and parts of the Middle East.
  • While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested.
  • What is gluten? Gluten refers to the proteins found in the endosperm of some grains. It is actually composed of two different proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Besides wheat, rye, barley, spelt, farro, and kamut. Oats do not contain gluten, but they may be contaminated during processing, which is why you may see gluten free oats in the store.
  • Compared to other dried beans, lentils are quick and easy to prepare. They do not need to be soaked before cooking, but do make sure to rinse them off. Red lentils in particular are great for thickening soups and stews, as they break down and lose their shape as they cook.
  • One cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. It is also a very good source of folate, copper, and phosphorus, and a good source of iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins B1 and B6.

Spelt

  • Spelt is an ancient grain that’s similar to wheat but has a tougher husk. It was originally grown in Iran around 5000 to 6000 BC. It has only been grown in Europe for 300 years, and now in North America for just over 100 years.
  • Flour made from spelt has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that can act as a substitute in most recipes that call for regular or whole-wheat flour.
  • Spelt also contains gluten, though less than wheat and it’s a slightly different type of gluten.

Recipes

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