Quinoa Seeds (Chenopodium quinoa)

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Quinoa ("keen-wa") has been cultivated for at least 5000 years. It will germinate in fairly cool conditions and prefers light, well-drained soil. It looks like lambs-quarters and has nutritious flavourful greens. By midsummer, a large seedhead develops, loaded with millet-like seeds. In dry autumns, seeds can be harvested after the leaves have dried and fallen by simply stripping them from the stalk between thumb and forefinger.

Quinoa is 15-16% protein and is high in E and B vitamins, calcium, iron and phosphorous. It is easy to digest and has a delicious flavour. It must be thoroughly rinsed before cooking and is then prepared like rice. (Less rinsing is required if mixed with other grains.) Simmer it for 15 minutes in an equal volume of water.

Quinoa can cross with its weedy relatives, so it's best to weed out the much more branching lambs-quarters if you wish to save seed for next year.

Quinoa packets contain many hundred seeds.