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Cookbook review: 'Quinoa Crazy' highlights quinoa's many uses
Trail Mix Balls from "Quinoa Crazy: The Gluten-Free Superfood Cookbook" by Britney Rule and Cherie Schetselaar. - photo by Jeff Peterson
"QUINOA CRAZY: The Gluten-Free Superfood Cookbook," by Britney Rule and Cherie Schetselaar, $19.95, 142 pages

Local mother-daughter blogging duo Cherie Schetselaar and Britney Rules previous book, Grain Crazy, gave a much-needed overview of the wider world of grains outside of the standard wheat, oats, rice and corn.

This time around, with Quinoa Crazy: The Gluten-Free Superfood Cookbook, published by Familius, the pair focus specifically on quinoa, the trendy, amino acid-packed seed that the United Nations General Assembly recognized in 2013 with the "International Year of Quinoa."

Like its predecessor, Quinoa Crazy is an excellent guide for family cooks looking for ways to incorporate healthier ingredients into their day-to-day meals that wont cause kids and spouses to go on a hunger strike.

Schetselaar and Rule highlight, in particular, the huge variety of uses for quinoa, whether raw, toasted in the oven, cooked like rice or ground into flour. Way beyond just substituting quinoa for grains, although there are a number of recipes that do that, they show how different varieties of quinoa can augment the dishes theyre used in with their unique properties. That includes baked goods, breakfast staples, salads, entrees and desserts.

Theres even a recipe for a sweet sprouted quinoa milk made with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom.

All of the more than 60 recipes are gluten-free. The vast majority of them are vegetarian, as well, making this ideal for people who cook for restrictive diets.

One of the best parts of Quinoa Crazy, though, might be that it applies the old teach a man to fish adage, educating about the nutritional properties of not just quinoa but also some of the other ingredients the authors use, such as coconut milk, flaxseeds, pumpkin, etc. ingredients that might just become essential pantry items after trying out a few of the recipes.

The book is nicely put together. Vibrant color photos and clean formatting make it very appealing from a visual standpoint.

Little Did you know? infoboxes scattered throughout also contain fascinating bits of trivia for example did you know that NASA scientists named quinoa an ideal food for long-term trips to outer space? that make the book surprisingly readable.

Schetselaar and Rules commitment to healthy eating is apparent on every page, and with the variety of recipes Quinoa Crazy includes, its never been easier or more appealing to familiarize oneself with this unique superfood.


Trail Mix Balls

Makes: 12 balls

1 cup old-fashioned oats

cup quinoa, uncooked and well rinsed

cup water

cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup dried fruit

1 teaspoon vanilla

teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1. Pour all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until the ingredients are broken down and well combined.

2. Form into 1-inch balls and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until hardened.

3. Serve when hardened, and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Quinoa Crazy: The Gluten-Free Superfood Cookbook, by Cherie Schetselaar and Britney Rule
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