Have you tried kañiwa yet?  I know what some of you are probably thinking, and no, I do not mean quinoa. Kañiwa is the slightly smaller cousin of quinoa.  The Whole Grains Council says kañiwa boasts nutritional benefits such as being high in dietary fiber and antioxidants, and according to nuts.com, kañiwa is also a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids.  

kañiwa and quinoa

To prepare kañiwa use the 2:1 ratio for liquid:grain.  Zach and I usually combine 1 cup of kañiwa with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of homemade chicken broth to boost the flavor while benefiting from the nutrient content found in chicken broth.  There is no need to rinse kañiwa since it does not contain bitter taste-producing saponins like quinoa.  Bring your kañiwa and liquid to a boil in a covered pot and then let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Salt and pepper to taste for your preference.

Quick note:  unless you like decorating your entire stovetop with micro-grains, I recommend keeping a close eye on kañiwa while you bring it to a boil.  Or use a bigger pot.  I have, on several occasions, walked away from the stove to tend to important things (ahem, social media browsing) only to hear the all too familiar sound of water boiling over from the pot, followed by a flood of kañiwa.

Kañiwa is great as a substitute for other grains in a variety of dishes. It has a slight-nutty taste similar to quinoa with a satisfying crunch in each bite.

We like to make a good-sized portion at the beginning of the week to accompany our meals whenever we need something a little more filling but not so heavy.  We’ve even heard people using it in place of oatmeal for breakfast!

If you’re curious to check out kañiwa, stop by your favorite health food store’s bulk bin section.  We picked ours up on sale for about $7.00/lb at Sprouts.  Enjoy!

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