Interests & Hobbies : Food & Cooking

  • Quinoa – Poison or Health Food

  • So, I’m reading more about the mild poison contained in the outside coating of quinoa. Has anyone ever had any problems?

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  • Interesting, fkern1! I’ve often wondered why the cooking instructions direct you to soak the quinoa first. Maybe the soak helps in removing the poisonous substance. I will have to do some further research! Thanks for sharing.

    Wow! I am going to have to do some research on this one. We eat quinoa at least once a week and have for ages. Very disturbing!!

    We had been told to always wash before using for the outer shell has a bitter taste to it. But never that it was poisonous. I have not use it in awhile for I like to add it to my stew, but will definitely have to check further before using again!

    I don’t cook quinoa, but some foods you need proper preparation. I did see that it will vary from region to region and they have not made a determination for those affected by Celiac. If that is the problem and why you are eating it-check this site as they have a forum. I would ask the Garden Expert here what is the best way to start with it. There are actually a lot of foods that if you eat too much, or have a certain health condition you can’t eat a lot of. Or mixing certain food groups together as a whole becomes beneficial. Brown rice was stated to have this or that, yet some people can only eat that.

    Hi For2Day,

    I’ve been cooking with quinoa long before it became mainstream and can tell you from experience that the seeds will taste bitter unless you thoroughly rinse them. The bitter taste comes from mildly toxic saponin compounds called glycosides that coat the outer shell. (Over 100 varieties of common dietary sources like legumes, oats, garlic and leeks contain saponins.)

    Most quinoa sold today has been prewashed to remove these saponins, but I always give it a rinse in cold water to ensure all traces are removed. The water that comes through may look a bit cloudy at first (via the saponins), so just keep rinsing until the water is clear and you’re good to go. Just be sure to use a very fine mesh strainer or the seeds will wash right through!

    On a positive note, these saponins also makes the seed and plant unpalatable to insects, so they tend to leave them along. As such I would tend to think that little to no pesticides are used to grow this crop, even on a commercial basis.

    As for concerns with celiac disease, a research study published last year confirmed the lack of gluten, but did find that two of the 15 different quinoa cultivars tested did have unexpectedly high levels of immune reactivity on celiac disease cells. Being that all quinoa sold does not list individual cultivars, anyone with celiac disease should probably avoid quinoa until further research is done.

    Howdy, For2Day ! Once again, you simply amaze me with your knowledge of this {^^,! . . .
    And invoking Kris’ expertise was also well-chosen !

    And wow – was Kris ever-ready with wonderful information ! SHC can certainly be proud of the truly engaged specialists here in the team ! BRAVO :) !

    I agree yobarps!

    One step that I was not doing completely was rinsing until water was clear for it is not something I use a lot in cooking. Will be doing so from now on!

    I have found the additional information very valuable for I have not seen anything in regards to celiac disease, good to know!

    This is one of those super-foods that I’m supposed to be eating, LOL ! One day I will try it for myself, along with other legumes and such, for I definitely need to seek changes. It is so wonderful to have the various input from all of you, Wendy :) :):) !


    I too am supposed to be eating more, slowly but surely adding more and more into our diets!

    You are so right in regards to the input of all! It is a great learning curve for all, for you can always find at least 1-2 tips that help you personally!

    Thanks everyone, as I have wanted to start eating it and did not know when I had time to look it up. If I had not seen the word Poison, I would have waited for an answer. Now that Kris and others have discussed how it is to be prepared, I think that I am ready. I can grow some vegetables, herbs etc. and know the background, but ask me if I will actually eat it. I tend to like to see a photo, then exactly what I am supposed to do. It took me a long time to work with the lemongrass and it got very sparse for some reason this year. P.S. what is code used for here in the icons for reply.

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