I present to you kaniwa, a supergrain related to Quinoa. Both kaniwa and quinoa are good sources of protein, calcium, iron and flavonoids. Quinoa seems to get all of the attention these days but kaniwa are smaller in size which gives them a completely different experience and texture in whatever dish you are preparing, be it a kaniwa salad, a kaniwa breakfast recipe (Kaniwa pancakes are amazing), or a Kaniwa Mexican recipe (like Kaniwa fritadas). These superfood grains are gluten-free and can be consumed by those who suffer from coeliac disease.
Here are some benefits of Kaniwa and Quinoa:
- They are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods out there.
- Both reduce risk to Type 2 Diabetes by regulating blood-sugar levels.
- Quinoa and Kaniwa contain phytonutrients with antioxidantsto help prevent cancer.
- These two superfoods lower total cholesterol and help maintain levels of HDL cholesterol.
- They actually decrease the risk of allergies.
- The two both balance skin pigmentation, giving a clearer complexion due to antioxidants.
Why Kaniwa? The protein content of Kaniwa seeds are significantly higher than that of quinoa. The nutritional value of kaniwa proteins are equivalent to those found in milk proteins, which make kaniwa a substitute to animal proteins for vegans. The kaniwa seeds also have higher amounts of fiber than quinoa. The Kaniwa grain has become my favorite to cook with as it has much lower amounts of the bitter tasting saponins than other grains.
Where to buy Kaniwa:
You can buy Kaniwa and Quinoa at most local health stores, or at online storefronts like Amazon. I bought Kaniwa grain seeds from my local Sprouts market, although I wish they carried organic Kaniwa as I’m always willing to pay a little more for the peace of mind I get with organic food. That said I will definitely buy organic Kaniwa grains from Amazon next time.
Ancient grains list : spelt, kamut, millet, barley, teff, oats, freekeh, bulgur, sorghum, Farro, einkorn, emmer; quinoa, kaniwa, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia seeds.
Ancient Grains - Kaniwa Salad
- For Kaniwa Salad:
- 1 cup Kaniwa
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ cup avocado, chopped
- ⅓ cup mango, chopped
- ⅓ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Kaniwa salad dressing:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 limes or lemons, juiced (add more according to your liking)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons salt
- teaspoons Optional : 1 to 1 ½ of honey or agave nectar, if you like a sweetness in your dressing
- Add salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil in saucepan
- Add rinsed Kaniwa, reduce heat to medium-low than simmer.
- Cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed (for about 10-15 minutes).
- Stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning.
- Remove from the heat and let the Kaniwa stand, covered for about 2-3 minutes
- Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
- Mix Kaniwa and all other non-salad dressing ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour dressing over Kaniwa salad mixture; toss to coat.
- Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper.
- Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.
- Note: This Kaniwa salad can be refrigerated overnight.