Quinoa is tiny, bead-shaped, with a slightly bitter flavour and firm texture. The Incas have known it all along, for thousands of years regarding it as the 'mother grain' as they grew it high up in the Andes. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein - containing all eight of the essential amino acids. It has been recognised by the United Nations as a super crop for its health benefits: packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The facts suggest it is close to a perfect ingredient as you can get.