Category Archives: gluten-free

Quinoa – The Mother Grain

With the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations behind us I can put away my baking tins for a bit and concentrate on healthier fare.

I’ve been using Quinoa for a good couple of decades now, it was a great little find back then when Mr ND became a vegetarian and a great source of non-animal protein for him.  I have a lot of staple family recipes that I have used over the years and Quinoa has proved a great addition to both my children’s diets too. 

Simply adding a heaped tablespoon of cooked Quinoa to established dishes like chilli or casseroles will give an extra nutritional boost.  Or add to porridge for breakfast for extra protein.   As cooked Quinoa will last in the fridge for a few days, you can boil some up and use daily as needed.

cooked Quinoa – plain and simple!

Quinoa is a nutrient-rich high protein superfood containing complex carbohydrates.  It is easily digested, high in soluble fibre and very versatile and as 2013 has been declared International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations to recognise the nutritional, ecological, and economic benefits of Quinoa I shall be endeavouring to post a weekly Quinoa Recipe from our kitchen.

Quinoa, pronouced keen-wa (it will always been quin-o-a to me as no-one knew how to pronounce it back then so it has stuck!), was called the “mother grain” by the ancient Inca’s.  It is actually a seed rather than a grain and unlike rice or wheat is a complete protein containing all 8 essential amino acids.  It is amazingly full of vitamins and minerals which you can see listed below and to those who are gluten-intolerant or avoiding gluten as I do at times, it is completely gluten-free.  The pre-biotic nutrients in Quinoa also help to feed the good pro-biotic bacteria microflora in our intestines. 

Other health benefits of Quinoa include assisting weight loss and building muscle.   It can help with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index and is a complex carbohydrate, sugars digest slowly which can maintain correct insulin levels.  Quinoa promotes cardiovascular health and effective in the prevention of clogged arteries and many more health concerns.  This truly is an amazing seed!

Nutritional Info:

Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, E, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Isoleucine, Serine, Proline, Glycine, Glutamic, Aspartic acid, Alanine, Histidine, Arginine, Valine, Manganese, Copper, Threonine, Phenylalanine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine & Tyrosine.

Super Seeded Bread

I recently purchased Lee Holmes fabulous book Supercharged Food, I’ve tagged all the recipes I want to try, the Super Seeded Bread is first on the list.  I’m not a huge bread eater but was looking for something different and this bread is gluten-free, dairy-free, packed with healthy seeds and uses stevia and coconut milk.  Stevia is a new ingredient for me, it is a natural herbal sweetener that’s more than 200 times sweeter than sugar, with no calories and no carbohydrates, which is used as an alternative to sugar.  I put a tiny bit on my tongue to taste and it really is very sweet so a little goes a very long way! 
The only adaption I have made to the recipe is to use olive oil instead of grapeseed oil.  For my seed mix I used pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and linseeds.

Super Seeded Breadmakes 1 loaf

Pre-heat your oven to 175C/160C fan – Grease and flour a 20×9 cm (8 x 3½”) loaf tin.


350g gluten-free self-raising flour

1¼ cups mixed seeds

¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp Pure Via stevia
4 organic eggs

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tblspn olive oil
3 tblspn coconut milk
125ml water
extra sunflower seeds for topping
Combine the flour, mixed seeds, salt and stevia in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until pale and fluffy.  Stir in the vinegar, olive oil, coconut milk and water.  Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, then smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon.  Scatter extra seeds over the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
The bread will keep well for a day or two at room temperature, then keep in the fridge.  It can also be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 6 weeks!

I ♥ this bread

Recipe printed with kind permission from Lee Holmes, author, Supercharged