{meatless monday} — meet the latest in supergrains : kaniwa

26 Nov

i discovered this grain 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!

17 Responses to “{meatless monday} — meet the latest in supergrains : kaniwa”

  1. Laura Lane November 26, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    So interesting! I haven’t tried a new grain in a long time (since the big quinoa introduction of like 2006 :)) so I’m going to give it a shot. To Whole Foods I go!


    • cooking with audrey November 26, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      awesome, laura! let me know what you think of it. i think it would also be good in a salad, for extra crunch. or i also read to try it in soups… i felt the same way about grains, which is why i got excited to try it – as soon as dr. oz has it on his show it will officially be “big” , right?! 😉


    • cooking with audrey November 26, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      PS – i hear the WFM in chi-town is AAAAHHMAZING! i haven’t been there, but next time i visit family in that area i must check it out!


  2. Food Stories November 26, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Interesting – Never heard of this before … Thx for sharing 🙂


    • cooking with audrey November 26, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      i hadn’t either… it originates from peru… i imagine we’ll hear more about it in the coming months 🙂


  3. nursefrugal November 26, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Looks delicious? By earthy tasting, does that mean a little like dirt and bland tasting?haha. It sounds really tasty with onions and garlic 😉


    • cooking with audrey November 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      haha… to be honest, yes – kind of tastes like the earth, haha as in dirt. which is why i think the maple syrup and butter make it amazing. of course, adding heaps of fat or sugar to anything makes it better, right?! i was thinking caramelized onions may tone down the “earthy” flavour… plus, anything is good with garlic and onions, eh?! thanks for reading!


  4. anthony0358 November 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    this is my new project for next weekend! I wanna try this!


  5. Linda Willows November 27, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    very interesting Laura, I will definitely check this out! thank you!….


  6. Linda Willows November 27, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Audrey! Gosh, I mean Audrey!!!….love, Linda


  7. Mary Russell November 20, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    This looks like the Wheatena I learned to love as a child, prepared daily with Grape Nuts and a touch of cream, as a college student, and still enjoy today. Never heard of Kaniwa, but will see if the Carbondale Food Coop carries it. Thanks for sharing!


  8. court April 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    I am just wondering how much it cost? Is it as costly as quinoa? I am in canada,so i cant find it.


    • cooking with audrey April 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      hi there.

      kaniwa was about $2.99/lb. at whole foods, but hopefully you can find it elsewhere. it’s much lighter in weight, so you get more bang for your buck. i used to work for whole foods so i had access to lots of great food. but now it’s much harder for me to find, as well.


  9. Melissa June 18, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    Very interesting! There is a way to get rid of that earthy taste that kaniwa has. I’ve heard that it also retains more of its nutritional value this way as opposed to boiling it. http://m.infobarrel.com/How_to_Eat_Kaniwa_In_a_Way_That_Tastes_Good



  1. {meatless monday} — cute, crunchy, colourful : kaniwa « food & foto - February 11, 2013

    […] i totally loved it and wanted to try it again.  you can read a little about my first experience here. i really love the stuff.  it’s similar to quinoa but with a little more […]


  2. {meatless mondays – kaniwa endive “boats” featuring spring-welcoming english peas} | food & foto - April 15, 2013

    […] introduced you to kaniwa a few times now… and this is one of my new favourite things to do with […]


  3. {eat the rainbow!} | food & foto - January 9, 2016

    […] kaniwa w/ sautéed garlic and […]


i heart comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: