The rich gastronomy of Peru is unquestionable. One of its great gastronomic values are those known as superfoods, natural and healthy products that receive this distinction for being very beneficial to our health.
Due to its geographic location, Peru can boast of being one of the regions in the world with a great agri-food diversity. In total, there are 34 Peruvian foods recognized as Superfoods: kiwicha, canihua, maca, yacon, giant corn from Cuzco, lucuma, mango, asparagus, avocado, cacao, among others.
In our special of today we want to talk about Peruvian superfoods classified in the category of «Super Grains», as it appears on the website of Marca Perú.
Quinoa is a product that in recent years has gained special popularity beyond the borders of Peru for its interesting uses in cooking and its health benefits.
Quinoa is cultivated mainly in the regions of Cuzco, Puno and Arequipa. It is a food characterized for its high nutritional value and for possessing proteins, fiber, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids. Perhaps, the most characteristic of this product is that it is gluten free, therefore ideal for celiac people.
In its use in the kitchen, quinua or quinoa can be cooked, added to salads or soups, to pasta, or even (ground) can be used in breading.
For the Incas, kiwicha was a food highly prized for its medicinal and nutritional applications. Its cultivation is present in regions such as Junin, Cuzco, Arequipa, Huancavelica and Cajamarca.
Grain flour derived from kiwicha serves to prepare breads, tortillas or muffins. Likewise, the stems of its plant are used to prepare infusions.
Kiwicha is a food rich in amino acids (mainly leucine), minerals (calcium, phosphorus or iron) and vitamins B and E.
Coming from chestnut, one of the tallest trees in the Amazon, chestnut is a fruit characterized by its dry taste and an important source of energy and health. Its geographical distribution includes the region of Madre de Dios.
Chestnuts are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, calories and minerals. They are used in the elaboration of oils, in bakery and confectionery.
Cañihua is a sweet- tilled seed grown in Junin, Cuzco, Puno and Ayacucho. It is a food with a high content of proteins, amino acids (lysine, tryptophan and isoleucine), rich in Vitamins B and E, and is gluten-free.
The seed of canihua is mainly used in confectionery, for infusions or to prepare flours.
The sacha inchi is a plant that has its origin in the Amazon of Peru. It is worldwide known as «Inca peanuts» or «mountain peanuts«. It predominates in the regions of the Amazon, San Martín, Junin, Ayacucho and Huanuco.
Among the properties of sacha inchi, it is a food rich in proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamin E.
Sacha inchi is used in the manufacture of flour, oil, or beauty products.
The Giant Maize of Cuzco is one of the foods recognized with the Denomination of Origin. It is a food with great esteem in Spain, France, Japan or Italy.
It stands out for being a food with a high content of polyunsaturated fats, proteins, and minerals like phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
It is one of the star products of the gastronomy of Peru, from which you get the chicha morada or the mazamorra. Its consumption dates back to pre-Hispanic times.
Its production is present in Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Ayacucho, La Libertad and Cajamarca.
The purple corn is a food prized for containing phenolic substances and anthocyanins (natural antioxidant) beneficial to health.
In addition to being the main ingredient of mazamorra or chicha morada, this corn serves to prepare juices, flour, beauty products or pharmaceuticals.
Of pre-Columbian origin, chia is a food present not only in Peru, but also in Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. In regards to Peru, its production area is in Puno, Ayacucho and Arequipa.
Chia is an important source of Omega 3, minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, zinc or phosphorus) and Vitamin A. It is also gluten-free, therefore its consumption is recommended for people with celiac disease.
Although its application is mainly linked to the culinary world (Galician, confectionery, snacks or flour), is also used in the design of beauty products.
Native to America, cacao is grown in many regions of the country: Junín, Ayacucho, Amazonas, Cajamarca, San Martin and Cuzco.
Cacao, important nutritional food, contains phytosterols, antioxidants, saturated fats, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals (potassium, phosphorus or magnesium) and water.
Undoubtedly, it is a food that stands out for the possibility of adapting to different laborations, both sweet and salty. More specifically, for the preparation of desserts, chocolate, drinks, flour or even liqueurs.