All About Superfoods

Quinoa – that mystical grain everyone hears about, pretends to know and mispronounces.

Now, locals can learn all about the grain, including the correct pronunciation (it’s ‘keen-wah’), how to cook it and what makes it such a popular superfood.

Camden Community Connections has partnered with Willowdale and horticulturalist Annette Arany to present a special workshop all about quinoa and the equally trendy chia seed.

The Ancient Grains – Nutritional and Healthy Cooking workshop has already proven a massive hit, with the first of two sessions selling out. Ms Arany, who will run the workshop, has been working with quinoa and chia for more than 15 years, well before the superfoods became health food staples.

“I first came across chia before 2000,” she said. “It was so easy to grow and I was looking at that.”

Ms Arany stresses her expertise lies with horticulture, not nutrition, but she is extremely well-versed in the ins and outs of both grains.

The Camden local holds workshops across Sydney and her knowledge is in constant demand.

She said the health benefits of quinoa and chia are what has drawn the greatest interest in recent years.

“Both grains are gluten free and that’s a big plus for people,” Ms Arany said.

“A lot of people feel that they can’t properly digest other grains like in white bread. Quinoa and chia feel better in your gut, they’re very easy to eat.”

Ms Arany said chia seeds are very versatile and produce a gel that is fantastic in smoothies.

She hopes her workshop will encourage people to grow and eat their own seeds.

“When you know how your food grows you get much better nutritional value,” she said.

“I like teaching people how to grow their own food and then use it the best way.

“If one person goes home from the workshop with a full mind and a full tummy, I’ll know I’ve been successful.”