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   Jul 16

Superfood Quinoa is actually Easy to Grow in your Garden. How to Video and Tips plus Recipes too! Read on…

quinoa harvestedQuinoa is really riding the Superfood wave and with that the price has been going up. No problem! Quinoa can quite easily be grown in the garden!

Tips For Growing Your Own Quinoa

Quinoa needs full sun and well-drained and fertile soil. It’s a slow grower and takes around 90-120 days to harvest. Quinoa is quite easy to grow, but it shouldn’t be grown in containers. The crop is too large and will produce a tiny harvest in a container, so it just isn’t worth the effort. Quinoa prefers cooler weather, ideally less than 90 degrees, making it an excellent choice for northern gardeners.

A great benefit of growing quinoa are the beautiful deep red and purple flowers it produces before going to seed. When you harvest quinoa, you are going for the seeds. The seeds can be used like most other grains. You can cook them alone or incorporate them into your recipes. You can also eat the leaves of the plant. They taste delicious in salads!

Quinoa Growing Basics

Quinoa is typically started directly in the soil. You should plant your quinoa crop when the soil has warmed to approximately 60 degrees, usually in very early spring.

Clear your beds and remove all weeds. Plant your quinoa seeds in rows, only about one-fourth of an inch deep. Thin the seeds after they sprout and space the plants approximately 10 inches apart. Quinoa can be mistaken for weeds as they start to grow, so be careful not to pull up the quinoa and leave the weeds. They look very similar to lamb’s quarter, a common garden weed.

Your quinoa will be slow to grow at the start. It’s okay. Just be patient. Once it reaches about a foot in height, it will begin to grow much faster.

Quinoa likes dry soil; so don’t water it unless your area is exceptionally dry. It will actually thrive with minimal water conditions.

Harvest and Storage tips from Off the Grid News (source of this article)

How to grow and harvest quinoa

RECIPES

QUINOA MEDALLIONS

100g quinoa

500ml vegetable stock

1 large red onion, chopped

2 handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped

½ stick lemon grass, bruised and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2tbsp Maille Mustard with White Wine, Coconut and Colombo Spices (here)

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp paprika

½tsp chilli flakes

½tsp garam masala

½tsp turmeric

125g wholemeal flour

125ml plant milk (I used light soy milk)

Olive oil for cooking

Quinoa Medallions method:

  1. Place the quinoa is a metal sieve. Wash well – this removes the bitter coating of the quinoa.
  2. Boil the vegetable stock in a pan, add the quinoa. Stir well.
  3. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.
  4. Drain, return to the pan, cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  5. Now the quinoa has cooled slightly, mix in all of the ingredients (bar the flour and milk).
  6. In a separate bowl, mix the wholemeal flour and plant milk together to form a smooth batter.
  7. Add the batter to the quinoa mix, stir well until the ingredients are fully coated and evenly mixed.
  8. In a large frying pan, heat up 2tsbp olive oil on a high heat.
  9. Drop the heat down to medium low. Using your hands or a spoon, divide the mixture into palm-sized medallions, placing them directly into the frying pan. The quinoa mixture will be sticky – don’t be too concerned by the shape as the edges can be rounded off once they are in the pan using the edge of a spatula.
  10. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Transfer onto a piece of kitchen roll to blot away any excess oil. Depending on the size of the pan, it may be necessary to cook in two to three batches

Serve the medallions atop a serving of the Oriental slaw with the sweet potato chips see recipes at Natalie Tamara site (source of recipe)

Here’s one more recipe from Natalie Tamara

Curly Kale Quinoa with Sweet Balsamic Beetroot

Ingredients

For the quinoa:

200g Quinoa, cooked

1 tbps Truffle olive oil (or regular olive oil)

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Handful of mushrooms, chopped

200g Kale, finely chopped

2 tbsp Fresh coriander, finely chopped

2 tbsp Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Juice of one lemon

Black pepper (plenty of)

Hungarian paprika (just a pinch)

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, add the shallots and red onions, gently fry for around five minutes until they are softened. Add the garlic and mushrooms, stir for a few minutes until the mushrooms begin to shrink. Turn down the heat, add the curly kale, stir on the heat for a further few minutes. Once the kale has wilted, add this mixture to the already-cooked quinoa along with the coriander, parsley, lemon juice, pepper and paprika. Stir well until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

For the beetroot go to Natalie Tamara‘s site

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