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Whole Grain Quinoa

The only true variety of whole grain quinoa on the market at the moment.

With almost double the fibre of your average quinoa, this whole grain version has less fat and less salt than standard quinoa. Full of minerals and gluten free, this quinoa is especially rich in iron and magnesium. Iron and magnesium contribute to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and contributes to normal cognitive functions.

All this with zero compromise on taste. It won two Great Taste stars in the 2016 Great Taste Awards! The judges loved it, with some of the comments being ‘we agreed this is some of the best we have tasted’ and ‘a good nutty bite, wholesome grain flavours reminiscent of whole grain rice’. Plus, this variety of quinoa contains no saponin and thus has no associated bitterness. As this quinoa is saponin free, the outer epiderm or husk of the quinoa remains, making it the first wholegrain variety of quinoa.

This whole grain quinoa is also available in the Express ready cooked format, exactly the same taste and always perfectly cooked.

This Wholegrain Quinoa is grown in France, it is  a super healthy, delicious, wholegrain variety, and read on to see how Jason Abbott managed this feat, and why it should interest you.

 

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Did you know that we can now grow this Wholegrain Quinoa in France? And it’s a super healthy, delicious, wholegrain variety. Read on to see how Jason Abbott managed this feat, and why it should interest you.

HISTORY

The whole adventure started eleven years ago, when Jason Abbot embarked on the challenge of growing Peru’s ancient mothergrain in his family’s country: La France. No, he isn’t mad. But when he found out his daughter, Lula Jane, was gluten intolerant and he moved to France, the path was clear. Who doesn’t like a challenge?

It’s been a long process, Jason tested, observed and analysed 40 types of quinoa in his first year alone. The next year involved further testing with 30 volunteer farmers from the cooperative in the Loire Valley, but the results were disappointing. Several years of trials, cross breeding and testing ensued, but eventually with help from experts at the ESA (Ecole Superieure d’Agricultures) Jason finally cracked it, as he developed some quinoa varieties that managed to brave the colder, wetter climates of the Loire Valley to grow successfully.

Not only were these varieties suitable for the French climate, they were also saponin free varieties, which means the grains can be eaten as wholegrains. In the quinoa world, quinoa with saponin and quinoa without are very different. South American quinoa, the birth place of the tomato, corn and the potato amongst other staple crops, has a natural pesticide called saponin. This is a bitter tasting element found in the ‘husk’ of the grain. In order for us to eat and enjoy this quinoa, this outer epidermis has to be removed.

THE REALITY OF FARMING QUINOA

Because farming quinoa in France is such a new concept, much remains unexplained and there aren’t always clear solutions to problems that may arise with the crops. Often, there is a huge variety in the size yields, but that’s only because growing quinoa isn’t that common yet. The more we grow, the easier it will be. It makes agricultural sense to keep growing quinoa in the Loire Valley too. It allows for a break from growing wheat or corn, and preserves soil fertility as quinoa exchanges different minerals with the soil. Also, as quinoa is a new crop it isn’t limited to an established set of processes.  This allows for a more individual, natural style of farming, which encourages the quinoa farmers to indulge in healthy competition and take pride in their farming, ultimately resulting in a more unique and artisanal crop.

 

THINKING ABOUT THE PLANET

Environmentally, Jason’s Loire Valley quinoa is almost perfect. When we say ‘almost’, its slightly unfair because it would be nigh on impossible for the quinoa to actually grow enough to be harvested without one round of treatment with pesticide. Essentially, aphids who would eat the crop are around before their predators (ladybirds), which means THAT without using pesticides to keep them off, there simply wouldn’t be any quinoa crop left.  Our quinoa d’anjou is treated with just one round of pesticide, compared to conventional use which is 7 or 8 rounds. It’s a necessary evil for now, in the words of Jason: “We minimize interventions, to ensure that there is no pesticide residue in our grains”.

 

 

Nutritional info table

Nutritional value per 100 g

Pearl Whole Grain Whole Grain Express Mediterranean Whole Grain Whole Grain Pilau Style
Energy 372kcal 165kcal 155kcal 143kcal
Protein 13,4g 5,3g 4.5g 4.7g
Carbohydrate 58,8g 25,1g 21.2g 19.4g
Of which sugars 2,8g 0,9g 1.9g 1.3g
Fat 6,4g 4,0g 4.7g 4.1g
Of which saturates 0.72g 0.5g 0.5g 0.5g
Fibre 5.5g 4.3g 4.8g 4.6g
Salt 0.04g 0.20g 0.42g 0.42g