Cushuro or also known as murmunta, is an Andean seaweed considered as the food of the future, as specialists affirm that it has more protein than meat, more calcium than milk and more iron than a plate of lentils. They even claim that their amount of protein is double that of kiwicha and quinoa.
It comes from the lagoons of Áncash (more than 3,000 meters high) and helps strengthen bones, detoxifies the body and provides collagen to the skin to improve its elasticity and strengthen the hair root. But that's not all, studies claim that it can save a person from anemia and malnutrition.
It is also known as "The Andean caviar" for its great resemblance to caviar, only that the former has a greenish hue. It is a varied genus of cyanobacteria, found in gelatinous colonies, composed of filaments, which are called "trichomes."
They are common in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Known for the ability to remain inactive for extended periods of time and regain metabolic activity when rehydrated with water. The ability that bacteria have to withstand freeze-thaw cycles means that the cushuro can live in extreme environments, such as the Arctic, and Antarctica.
The cushuro forms colonies of spheres which measure 1 to 2 cm in diameter. The spheres are smooth and watery. They glow in the presence of ultraviolet light and their green pigmentation is due to the presence of chlorophyll, while their blue pigmentation is due to the presence of phycocyanin. Furthermore, the presence of phycoerythrin, a reddish pigment, in combination with the other pigments, explains why some are more brownish in color.
A study proves its properties
The cushuro, scientifically known asNostoc commune, has been investigated by the Doctor in Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Augusto Aldave Pajares, a Peruvian scientist who has traveled all the high Andean lagoons of Peru (habitat of the Cushuro) for more than 50 years.
According to his studies published in the book "Algae, a lifetime", it is concluded that Cushuro has 30% protein, thus beating quinoa and kiwicha, which only have 15% protein.
This algae also has all the essential amino acids, which makes it a food with even better protein content than meat itself.
And not to doubt the great power of cushuro, it has also been scientifically proven that it has more calcium than milk (145mg / 20mg) and more iron than lentil (83.6mg / 7.6mg).
All these properties have earned it the title of the "Andean miracle." The best? It costs approximately USD 1.50. A nutritious, healthy food at a comfortable price.
Recipes with chauro, sweet, salty and drinks
½ kg of cushuro
Sumo of 4 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig of coriander
1 sprig of celery
2 green peppers
Wash the cushuro and place it in a bowl
Add the lemon juice and pepper
Season with salt and garlic
Add the chopped cilantro and celery sprig, the 2 green peppers and diced onions
Let stand for 10 min
* Serve with lettuce, corn, potatoes, rice and sweet potato.
½ kg of cushuro
Cinnamon and clove
Boil water with sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a medium saucepan for 15 min.
When the water is already boiling, add the cushuro and boil for another 30 minutes.
Remove when the cushuro has released the flavor.
2 branches of yerba buena or mint.
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ oz white rum
1 tsp. From cushuro (decoration)
In a glass, place the good herb, the sugar and marinate it by mashing it.
Pour the rum with plenty of ice and soda
Shake well and decorate the glass.
Add the cushuro and enjoy.
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