No, these aren't biscuits - but they are still sweet and incredibly delicious: my quinoa rolls, made from red quinoa and dates. They are the ideal healthy between-meal snack for a long workday or for the kids at school. They will keep you feeling fuller longer and provide you with plenty of protein and fibre.
Quinoa is a very versatile food and comes in beige, red and black. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops in existence and has been part of the staple diet consumed by indigenous South Americans living in the Andes for 6000 years. Quinoa belongs to the goosefoot genus, a so-called pseudo-cereal, and is botanically related to spinach, chard and beetroot.
Quinoa contains healthy ingredients and is, by virtue of its molecular structure, a better source of protein than conventional grains. It is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, contains several B-vitamins as well as plenty of vitamin E. In terms of mineral content, it beats other grains by miles: it has more calcium than wheat and rye, more than twice the amount of iron and 50% more vitamin E than wheat. Quinoa also provides valuable amounts of healthy, monounsaturated fat.
The little kernels contain all nine essential amino acids - very unusual for a plant-based food! Quinoa is full of lysine, which is said to inhibit cancer growth. This extraordinary amino acid repairs destroyed connective tissue and stops inflammatory and allergic reactions.
Rinse the kernels thoroughly with hot water until it runs clear before using them - it gets rid of the saponins contained in the seed coats, which give them a bitter taste.
I made my rolls with three different types of flour, but using just one type of gluten-free flour or even whole wheat flour would be fine as well. I also added a little coconut flour, not just because I love the taste, but also because it's really good for my digestion as well as promoting the absorption of minerals and fat soluble vitamins through its medium-chain fatty acids.
In addition, coconut flour keeps you feeling fuller longer due to its high fibre and amino acid content.
I used dried dates and apple rings for the rolls, but any other dried fruit works as well, like figs or even olives, if you like your rolls a little less sweet.
Quinoa Rolls with Dates
- 100g red quinoa
- 400ml water (quinoa)
- 150g dried dates
- 50g dried apple rings
- 200g superfine cornflour
- 50g coconut flour
- 150g gluten-free flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 20g cane sugar
- 30g fresh yeast
- a little flour to shape the rolls
- Boil the water for the quinoa with a little salt. Rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear, then add it to the boiling water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes over medium heat.
- De-seed the dates, if necessary, and chop finely. Chop the apple rings, cover with 100ml of water and let them sit for around 10 minutes.
- Mix the flour(s) with salt and sugar. Dissolve the yeast in 200ml lukewarm water. Make a hollow in the middle of the flour mound and pour the yeast-water mix into it. Then add the quinoa and the fruit. Knead the mixture until the dough is smooth and springy and let it rise for around 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (top and bottom heat) and cover a baking sheet with parchment. Re-knead the dough with a little flour, form small, round rolls and put them on the baking sheet. Allow the rolls to rise for another 15 minutes before baking them in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool.