Inca Organics

                                                          Heirloom Food Products Grown Organically

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“La Quinua es Nuestra Esperanza”

“The Quinoa is Our Hope”

If you were to ask Juan Perez andLorenzo Cepeda to describe the Heirloom Quinoa Project in Ecuador, they would simply answer, “La Quinua es nuestra esperanza” or “The quinoa is our hope.”  Juan and Lorenzo represented ERPE (Escuelas Radiofonicas Populares del Ecuador) one of the Slow Food Award Winners in Biodiversity for 2002 in Turin Italy. Juan is the director of ERPE’s Heirloom Quinoa Project and Lorenzo is the President of Quinera, the workers’ cooperative. There are now over 4000 indigenous families in Ecuador growing quinoa for the project who benefit economically from this fair trade export.  Inca Organics of Chicago, Illinois imports this organic heirloom quinoa into the United States and England. Although other brands of quinoa are also sold in those countries, the quinoa produced by ERPE is the only heirloom quinoa com­bining many varieties that have grown in central Ecuador since before the time of the Incas.

Other quinoa brands produced in Bolivia or Peru are one recently developed hybrid called Quinoa Real. It is bred to be large, white and bland tasting like white rice. It is also polished, like white rice, to remove the bitter saponin that cov­ers all quinoa seeds. The saponin residue from the polishing must be washed off before the quinoa is cooked or it will taste bitter. ERPE does not polish their heirloom quinoa, but washes it in a unique 3-step process that removes the saponin and any other impurities from  the  quinoa.  It  is  then thoroughly dried to exacting standards that give it a long shelf life of over 4 years. It is a more labor-inten­sive process than polishing but gives a more flavorful and nutri­tious product.

Corby Kummer in writing about this heirloom quinoa in the November Atlantic Monthly said, “Inca Organics quinoa is cleaner, fresher, sweeter, and livelier tasting than the kind most health-food mar­kets sell.” World-renowned chefs, such as Charlie Trotter, use Inca Organics heirloom quinoa because it has a better flavor. As people look for new healthful and nutritious foods, they also want something that tastes good. That’s a great reason to support a Slow Food award winner by using their product.

Now international communities are discovering the health benefits and the unique flavor of this Ecuadorian quinoa as the project’s indigenous farmers rediscover a lost way of life. The Heirloom Quinoa Project “has already restored a livelihood and native crop to people in danger of losing both and is still working to ensure the health and future of their land and families,” notes Kummer in his description of the project for the biodiversity award. While Juan and Lorenzo are excited about the Slow Food Award, they are most happy that the quinoa they grow provides healthy hope for people all over the globe.

Bob’s Red Mill packages Inca Organics Ecuadorian quinoa as a whole grain and gluten free flour and Seeds of Change as 3 different flavored quinoa blends tomato basil, cilantro, and French herb. It can be purchased by mail order from Gold Mine Natural Foods in San Diego or over the Internet from Neshaminy Valley Natural Foods at www.orgfood.com. Bulk distributors, restaurant and food service suppliers are listed at www.incaorganics.com. Visit this web site for more information and recipes too or call 1-866-328-4622. 

Quinoa is great to use as a nutritious quick-cooking substitute for rice, bulgur, or couscous. It can also substitute for meat since it’s a complete protein and makes a quick cooking breakfast cereal. The following recipe is just a sample of its versatility 

MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA
SALAD

      2 cups INCA ORGANICS QUINOA ½ cup sliced pitted black olives 4 cups hot water plus 2 tablespoons water

     1 cup golden raisins

     1 10-oz. package frozen peas ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 1 medium red onion, diced ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

     1 red pepper, seeded, cored and dice

       ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted 1 green pepper, seeded, cored, and diced

       ½ cup vinaigrette dressing

 

1.       In a large saucepan bring 4 cups hot water and 2 cups quinoa to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.   Fluff with a fork and cool.

2.     In a microwave proof container heat frozen peas in 2 Tablespoons water for 4 minutes. Drain and cool.

3.     When quinoa and peas are cool add all remaining ingredients except pine nuts.

4.               Toss with ½ cup of your favorite vinaigrette dressing or try the deli­cious dressing that follows. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Add more dressing if desired.

5.   Garnish with pine nuts toasted until golden in a dry skillet.

6.   Serve or cover and chill until served. Makes 8 servings

 

WINE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

½ cup olive oil 1 teaspoon sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard freshly ground pepper

2 clove garlic, finely chopped salt

 

Wisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, and chopped garlic in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive

oil, whisking until thickened.

Adjust seasonings to taste.