i discovered this grain at whole foods market in the bulk section. i’m always looking for new grains to try… i’m not much on rice, i’m kind of burnt out on cous cous, and quinoa can be expensive and a pain to have to rinse every time. kaniwa is fairly new to the united states, and therefore not a lot of nutritional information is yet available on it. however, according to this site, it is high in protein much like its quinoa cousin. kaniwa does not contain saponins like quinoa does, and therefore it does not have to be soaked or rinsed prior to cooking.
kaniwa is so itsy bitsy – a tiny little grain with a big earthy taste. according to what i’ve read, kaniwa is best served as a porridge, with butter and maple syrup. so that’s exactly how i prepared it.
the ratio for kaniwa is 1:2. so one cup per two cups water.
and much like quinoa, is prepared the same way. add the kaniwa to water in a stovetop pan and turn on medium to high heat. we will boil the kaniwa grain IN our water… once the germ begins to separate, we know it’s close to being ready… about 15-20 minutes. when the water begins to boil, you’ll notice that the grain no longer “floats” around, and it’s easier to stir.
the grain changes colour when ready, also… it becomes much deeper and rich in colour. because it’s such a small grain, it can be hard to tell if the germ has separated and the grain is cooked… just simmer on medium heat for at least 15 minutes, and once your consistency is porridge like, it’s ready to eat. i will tell you that the consistency is much like quinoa, only with a slight more “crunch” – i’m thinking this is because the grain is so small… i love the texture, though! it’s fun to eat!
stir in a little maple syrup and butter and enjoy! i opted out of the maple syrup for my first kaniwa experience, because i wanted to truly taste the grain. i wanted to know what kind of things i could make with it that would be amazing. the flavour is definitely earthy and hearty. i think the maple syrup would’ve made it better. i don’t mind the earthy taste, but it’s not for everyone i’m sure.
i’m actually going to spend some time in the kitchen today working on future blog images, and kaniwa is on the menu! i’m going to make it with garlic and onions as a side dish like quinoa… so stay tuned for that!
and if you can get your hands on some kaniwa, do it! i really find it’s a great value, as it’s very light in weight and the price is about half the cost of quinoa. and if you do try some, let me know how you prepare yours!
happy eating, everyone!