Sweet Prices on Farmer’s Cheese, Habanero Jalapeno Cheese & Quinoa

Did anyone read the article recently in the Livingston Shopper which said we should be able to pronounce the ingredients in our foods? Well, they said, all except quinoa. So is that quaNOah? Yes, that’s what it looks like. But it’s actually pronounced keenWA. Okay, so I can say it, but why are you talking about it anyway?

Quinoa has dropped in price! It’s beyond WOW as it goes from $7.90 a pound to $3.04. What does that mean in English? A bag which was $15 will now be $6. With all of that excitement here at The Country Cupboard, I know you want to know what the benefits of quinoa are and how you cook it.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber. It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein and contains all nine amino acids. Often mistaken as a grain, quinoa is actually a highly nutritious vegetable seed and contains almost twice as much fiber as grains. You may or may not know fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, and may help you to lose weight. It makes you feel fuller for longer and has fewer calories for the same volume of food. Because it’s a low-glycemic food, this a great food choice for diabetics!

How do you cook quinoa? It’s quick and easy! Rinse it well (or it will be bitter). Add 1 c of quinoa and 2 c of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Now you have 3 c. of cooked quinoa. Watch your email for a variety of quinoa recipes over the next few weeks. You’ll see it can be used for breakfast (like oatmeal), in muffins, under stir-fry (like rice) and even in dessert.

Do you have a SweetHeart?

That phrase can be interpreted in several ways. 1. You yourself have a heart that’s sweet (and thinks of others). 2. You have someone you love (and they love you). 3. You own some sweet little caramel-filled chocolate hearts.If you find you are lacking in definition #3, stop by The Country Cupboard to find some delicious caramel-filled chocolate hearts and other sweet heart-shaped candy. But hurry, it’s going fast!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bark (Gluten-Free)

Perfect (and easy) for Valentine’s Day! You’ll love the crunch, plus who can resist chocolate and cherries together?

All ingredients available at The Country Cupboard.

3 tablespoons quinoa

½ cup dried tart cherries

12 ounces (2 cups) dark chocolate chips

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  1. Toast the quinoa over medium low heat in a dry pan for 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan often, until golden (some kernels will pop during the process). Remove from heat into a bowl to cool fully.
  2. Chop the dried cherries.
  3. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Place chocolate in a heat-safe bowl (metal or glass). Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until melted. (Alternatively, melt in a microwave for 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring in between each interval with a spatula). When chocolate is fully melted, stir in 2 tablespoons quinoa, ¼ cup cherries, and ¼ cup pepitas.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the parchment paper in a ¼-inch thick layer. Sprinkle over the top the remaining 1 tablespoon quinoa, ¼ cup cherries, and 2 tablespoons pepitas.
  5. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes until hardened. When hard, cut into irregular pieces with a knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
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