Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a type of edible seed that comes in various colors including black, red, yellow, and white.
Though technically a seed, Quinoa is classified as a whole grain and is a good source of plant protein and fiber. One cup cooked provides about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Unlike some plant proteins, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own.
Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free and can be eaten safely if one has gluten intolerance such as celiac disease.
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
Chia seeds come from the plant Salvia hispanica L., and were at one time a major food crop in Mexico and Guatemala. Cultivated as a food source as early as 3500 BC, it was offered to Aztec gods in religious ceremonies. According to industry reports, the chia seed market is projected to reach more than 2 billion USD in sales by 2022.
- Polyunsaturated fat, as omega-3 fatty acids
Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals including zinc and copper. They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body.
Gluten free quinoa and chia bread
This bread is gluten free – dairy free – egg free + sugar free. Perfect for anyone with a food allergy or intolerance. The most important steps would be to soak and rinse your quinoa and chia separately overnight before starting the recipe. The second most important step would be to mix it for at least 3 minutes in your food processor (not blender). Once you have that sorted, it’s smooth sailing from there. Don’t expect this bread to resemble traditional loaves – it’s a very nutrient rich and moist that is best eaten lightly toasted.
- 300 g (10 ½ oz / 1 3/4 cups) whole uncooked quinoa seed
- 60 g (2 fl oz / ¼ cup) whole chia seed
- 250 ml / 1 cup water (use half to soak chia seeds and the other half to combine in the food processor)
- 60 ml (2 fl oz / ¼ cup) olive oil
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- juice from ½ lemon
- Soak quinoa in plenty of cold water overnight in the fridge.
- Soak chia seed in ½ cup water until gel like – this can be done overnight as well, but just give it a few stirs at the beginning.
- Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F – fan forced oven.
- Drain the quinoa and rinse really well through a sieve. Make sure the water is fully drained from your sieve.
- Place the quinoa into a food processor.
- Add chia gel, ½ cup of water, olive oil, baking soda, sea salt and lemon juice.
- Mix in a food processor for 3 minutes. The bread mix should resemble a batter consistency with some whole quinoa still left in the mix.
- Spoon into a loaf tin lined with baking paper on all sides and the base.
- Bake for 1 ½ hours until firm to touch and bounces back when pressed with your fingers. Mine took 1 ½ hours (oven temperatures can vary slightly) but the bread needs the time to cook and for the quinoa to become tender.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes in the tin… then remove from the tin and cool completely on a rack. The bread should be slightly moist in the middle and crisp on the outside. Cool completely before eating.
- Serve delicate slices only when cold with a serrated knife. Deliciouslightly toasted on a pan.
Store wrapped in the fridge for up to 1 week (Can be frozen for up to 3 months)
What I love about the raw batter before I cook it is that it also lends itself to a variety of dishes. You can bake it as a thin flat bread and use it for a pizza base and top it with sun-dried tomato, roasted pumpkin chunks and ricotta or you can cook spoonfuls in your cast iron pan just like pancakes or crumpets and drizzle with pure maple syrup and sliced banana.