New Flavour For Summer from Kiwi Quinoa

Jacqui and Dan Cattrell and family

After introducing New Zealand foodies to the taste of fresh locally grown white quinoa, Kiwi Quinoa is turning the flavour up again with the introduction of a red grain.

Kiwi Red Quinoa is the latest innovation from the pioneers of the local industry Jacqui and Dan Cottrell.

After promoting the white variety to foodies since their first commercial crop in 2016, Jacqui is a convert to the red wholegrain, saying its colour ensures it looks vibrant in every dish and its texture is a winner too.

“Red quinoa has an amazing subtle crunch and gives a little pop when you bite it – it’s become my go-to favourite”.

For Jacqui and Dan and their young family that means using Kiwi Quinoa Red Wholegrain Quinoa as the base for curries or simply as a side dish cooked and served with dill, butter, and salt.

Quinoa has been consumed for thousands of years. Technically it is not a grain but a pseudocereal, meaning it’s a seed prepared and consumed like a grain. Once a staple for the Andean people, it has exploded in popularity across the globe thanks to its gluten-free status and its rich nutritional profile. Quinoa is a nourishing alternative to rice, pasta, and other grains.

Falling in love with the flavour and versatility of quinoa during a trip through South America over a decade ago, was the driving force for farmer Dan and agronomist Jacqui to develop the industry in New Zealand from their family farm near Taihape. In 2012 on their OE travelling in Peru they recognised parts of the landscape looked like the north island Central Plateau where Dan’s family have farmed for four generations. Jacqui said their recognition of the geographic similarities provided the genesis for growing quinoa in Rangitikei.

Following their first commercial crop in 2016 they began selling in New Zealand with Kiwi Quinoa starting to build a market for the fresh, clean flavour of locally grown quinoa. In 2020 the pair achieved national supermarket distribution for Kiwi Quinoa, which prompted them to take a leap of faith, finding growers with similar values who were prepared to use their ‘recipe’ for growing chemical free quinoa.

Today, Kiwi Quinoa are in partnership with six growers, one in Bulls and five in Canterbury, ensuring they have enough grain to supply supermarkets across New Zealand as well as bulk sales ingredients for food producers.

Both red and white quinoa grown by Kiwi Quinoa are considered ‘sweet’, not because they are sweet but because they don’t contain bitter saponins, which is a bonus for food lovers.

Since its harvest earlier this year, Jacqui has been on a mission discovering new ways to include the nutritious wholegrain red quinoa in her cooking. One of her favourites is playing to quinoa’s strength as a replacement for gluten, using red quinoa in Minestrone instead of pasta.

Other ways with quinoa include replacing breadcrumbs with cooked quinoa and freshly grated parmesan for a savoury crust. Changing up gremolata pangrattato, known as breadcrumbs in Italian, by using cooked quinoa mixed with the finely grated zest of a lemon, two finely chopped cloves garlic and plenty of chopped parsley leaves and sprinkling over to add flavour to vegetables and hearty meat dishes.  Or try making a Turkish pilav using quinoa and rice with stock and a puree of diced tomatoes.

Kiwi White Quinoa and Kiwi Red Quinoa are available on the Kiwi Quinoa website as well as at selected New World stores, Farro, Sabato, Moore Wilson's and Fresh Choice as well as the country’s finest independent grocery and health stores.