Grains such as quinoa and millet, the ones we use in QRUNCH Burgers, are called “ancient” because they’ve been around, unchanged, for millennia.
Another term might be “underutilized” grains, since quinoa has really just been “discovered” by the Western world for all its extraordinary health benefits, and millet, which is a stable food for much of the world, is finally being appreciated here.
Either “ancient” or “underutilized,” quinoa is technically not a grain. It’s a “chenopod,” and closely related to beetroots and spinach. That means it’s not a member of any grass family and thus, not a grain.
But quinoa is a complete protein and one of only two grains to contain all essential amino acids (oats are the other). Quinoa is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains and provides a rich and balanced source of vital nutrients.
Quinoa has been successfully domesticated for more than 3,000 years for human consumption in Bolivia and Peru, which is where we purchase ours for your QRUNCH Burgers.
Millet, a true grain, was originally cultivated in the dry climates of Africa and northern China at the end of the Stone Age, about 4,000 years ago. Archaeologists recently discovered a 4,000-year-old bowl of millet noodles in northwestern China! In the Middle Ages, millet was more widely eaten than wheat. It is mentioned in the Old Testament as an ingredient for bread.
Today, millet is a staple for a third of the world’s population. It has a mild, nutty taste and is very versatile. Millet is loaded with magnesium so it’s heart-healthy. And it’s considered a “smart carb” because it breaks down slowly and is used efficiently by the body.