I’ve Googled I don’t know how many ingredients to check to see whether they’re considered Paleo or not. Is mustard paleo? Mayonnaise? Pickles? What about quinoa?
Ah, quinoa. It’s a superfood, right? Wouldn’t Paleos get behind that?
Well, not so much. Turns out it’s fairly controversial in Paleo circles. Quinoa is technically a seed, but it’s what is known as a psudocereal. Huh? A pseudocereal is a plant that isn’t a grain or a grass, but produces seeds or fruit that are used like grains. Amaranth, buckwheat and chia seeds are other examples, along with quinoa.
The Spunky Coconut has a good explanation of why Paleos stay away from quinoa, but even Mark Sisson concedes that more moderate Paleos let quinoa into their diets now and again.
As you might expect, I took a more moderate view of quinoa. We had a special birthday today, my Dad’s, and in contemplating what kind of cake to make, there weren’t too many Paleo choices. Quinoa to the rescue.
I stumbled across an intriguing recipe for a quinoa chocolate cake, and thought that, like zucchini, quinoa could lend a moist quality to the cake without imparting much flavor. Let the chocolate take over, as it likes to do. Who am I to stop that?
And you know, it worked like a charm. Thank goodness, since I didn’t have a back-up plan. It was moist, with a good crumb, and oh so very chocolately. Really, really good. Happy birthday, Dad.