Ready To Eat Quinoa, Yemeni Spices & Reduced-Sugar Dried Berries | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Ready To Eat Quinoa, Yemeni Spices & Reduced-Sugar Dried Berries | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: Ready To Eat Quinoa, Yemeni Spices & Reduced-Sugar Dried Berries

Our three products of the week support new year’s resolutions for better eating. Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, but in the interim, consider:

January 16th is National Quinoa Day, so it follows that we’re starting out with this trending grain.

Many people we know have gotten into quinoa in a big way. While not in the grain family, quinoa is considered a whole grain*, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids†. It’s also gluten-free.

Some come quinoa the hard way, starting with buying bulk quinoa and washing it. Some buy the seeds pre-washed.

And others, like us, buy ready to microwave-and-eat quinoa from Ancient Harvest, in four microwavable varieties:

  • Quinoa With Chickpeas & Garlic
  • Quinoa With Lentils & Garlic
  • Quinoa With Salt
  • Quinoa With Southwestern Seasonings
    There is no easier, quicker, or tastier way to get quinoa on the table for grain bowls, sides, soups or stews.

    Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), pronounced KEEN-wa, is the Quechua (Inca) word for “mother grain” or “super grain.” Here’s more about this exceptional food.
    Ancient Harvest has a nice selection of supergrains in different formats: different types of uncooked quinoa and quinoa breakfast flakes, supergrain pasta, even supergrain mac and cheese—all gluten free.

    Discover more at

    If you enjoy cooking with spice blends like ras-el-hanout and za’atar, and want to try another Middle Eastern spice blend, we introduce you to hawaij (ha-WHY-idge), an ancient spice mixture used in Yemenite cuisine.

    Yemeni immigrants brought the spices to Israel, and hawaij (alternately spelled hawaj, hawaij, hawayji, or hawayej) has become popular in Israeli cooking as well.

    There are actually two distinct varieties of hawaij: one traditionally used in coffees and the other to season soups and other foods.

    WebMD and other health sources cite the blend or cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and turmeric as outstanding sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and other beneficial nutrients‡.

    Pereg Hawaij Blend for Soup is an aromatic mixture of cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves.

  • Use it instead of bouillon cubes or consommé powder to season meat-based or vegetable soups.
  • Try it as a rub for lamb, grilled chicken or fish.
  • Add a healthy pinch to slow-cooker stews.
  • Toss it with some olive oil on vegetables before roasting (great with beets, broccoli, carrots, kale and potatoes,).
  • Mix it with a fruity olive oil for a quick salad dressing, or as a delicate dipping sauce for crusty bread.
  • Spice up chicken with a coat of Hawaij and panko Japanese-style bread crumbs.
    Pereg Hawaij Blend for Coffee is a warm-spice mixture of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

  • Add some warm, spiced depth to coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

    Ready To Eat Quinoa
    [1] Two of the four varieties of Ancient Harvest’s ready-to-eat, microwaveable quinoa varieties.

    [2] Pereg introduces a Yemeni spice blend, hawaij, in varieties for coffee and soup.

    [3] Organic dried blueberries and Montmorency cherries with 50% reduced sugar, from Stoneridge Orchards. Thanks to Snack Gator for the photos.

  • Boost your batter: Replace traditional spices with hawaij in breads and muffins, cakes and other baked desserts, pancakes and waffles.
  • Spice up your smoothie.
  • Sprinkle onto baked apples or poached pears.
  • Add to rice pudding for more flavor than cinnamon alone.
    If you like playing with flavors, a jar for $5.50 opens up new vistas.

    Find out more at

    If you snack on dried fruit or add them to salads and baked goods, you may not be aware that some have sugar added to ensure a sweet experience. This is particularly true with dried berries.

    If you care about added sugar, Stoneridge Orchards has a better options for you. The company has introduced its 50% Reduced Sugar product line, beginning with Dried Blueberries and Montmorency Cherries.

    The berries remain rich with fiber and flavor, and preservative-free, gluten/allergen free and non-GMO.

    To achieve 50% less sugar, non-caloric stevia is blended with cane sugar. The berries remain moist and plump: a delectable snack and ingredient.

    For more information, visit

    *Quinoa is not actually a grain (which is a cereal), but the seed of a leafy plant related to beets, chard and spinach. As with those vegetables, you can eat the leaves (although you’re not likely to find them in the U.S.). The part of the quinoa plant that we eat, the seed, is cooked like rice. Quinoa is gluten-free.

    †Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. The essential amino acids, a subgroup, cannot be made by the body; they must come from food. The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

    ‡Yes, these are healthful ingredients, but you have to injust a lot of them to fight inflammation, aid digestion, lower blood sugar, fend off free radicals, etc.


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