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Discovering I was allergic, to varying degrees, to all grains was a bit of a blow.  Adding rice and soy to the mix made me feel like my days of pasta and Italian cooking might be over, but then my doctor suggested I try Quinoa.  I’d not come across this grain like seed before and on trying it found I did not react.

My favoured products are the pastas, flakes, and flour made by Ancient Harvest.  Their products are either 100% quinoa or a quinoa and corn blend, both of which I can eat without allergic difficulties.  However, obviously if you have issues with corn or quinoa itself this won’t work for you.

Pasta – Great news everyone, pasta that tastes like regular pasta, cooks like regular pasta, and reacts like regular pasta to variations in cooking time, and adding sauces, etc.  Ancient Harvest produce seven different varieties of pasta: Elbows, Garden Pagodas, Linguine, Rotelle, Shells, Spaghetti and Veggie Curls. Check the ingredients though as the Garden Pagodas and Veggie Curls contain additional vegetable ingredients for flavour and colour, and so you may be able to eat some and not others.  Luckily I’m fine with all of them.  My one word of warning is that they should not be overcooked, otherwise they can become doughy and start to break down.  You’ll notice this if you freeze leftovers and then reheat later.

Flakes – My inner Scot rejoices! As oats were no longer on the table I was worried that living porridge free in the cold winter months would be unbearable, but then I found Ancient Harvest’s quinoa flakes.  These can be prepared easily (a ratio of 1 of flakes to 3 of water or milk substitute) and cook in the microwave in about two and a half minutes.  The result is a porridge like bowl of warming goodness, add some sliced banana, or some nutmeg and brown sugar, and you’re ready to go!

Flour – After a while you get fed up with corn bread, and potato flour only stretches so far, but adding quinoa flour allows me to blend together my variations for different purposes.  On its own it can be a bit difficult to work with, but blended with others you can prevent any one flavour becoming over powerful and get predictable and repeatable results.