Before traveling to South America, I’d only enjoyed quinoa in it’s simplest form, as a cooked grain. I’d never seen quinoa plants, enjoyed warm quinoa drinks or sweet quinoa desserts. This changed when we went to Bolivia. We saw the beautiful, colourful fields of quinoa during our Uyuni salt flats tour. The quinoa fields in this area are known for being resistant, having adapted to salty and alkalidic soils. They have bitter seeds and a high percentage of proteins. We learned there are more than 1800 varieties of the super grain. I had no idea quinoa came in more than one colour. There is white, pink, orange, green, red, purple, and black quinoa.
In Uyuni, we found some chocolate puffed quinoa cereal and quinoa bars by Pronaal. They made for delicious snacks. We ate them for breakfast and throughout the day as we needed a sweet, super grain fix.
In Sucre, Bolivia, we scored a bunch of sweet vegan finds at the Drogueria Natural. We found, puffed quinoa snacks, quinoa granola bars and quinoa cereal.
Powder drinks, made from quinoa, flaxseeds, coconut, Brazil nuts, peanuts and corn are very popular in Bolivia. We tried the quinoa drink powder and mixed it was some hot water. It’s like drinking a thick, nutty tea. It’s pretty delicious, though a little weird, and likely very nutritious.
These are just some examples of how quinoa is used in Bolivia. In Argentina, we ate a restaurant that had quinoa empanadas, but we didn’t get to try them because they were made with cheese. If you visit Bolivia, you’ll have no problem finding interesting quinoa snacks.