Kaniwa :: The new Quinoa

Every time I say the word "quinoa" I think of the commercial that makes fun of the word.  Have you seen it? It a commercial for beer, the setting is a tailgate at a football game and the actor is throwing a "quinoa burger" on the grill, but pronounces the name in such a funny way that I don't even know how to phonetically spell it out on this post (but you can see the commercial here).

Quinoa has become more mainstream in the past few years, meaning it's now sold in grocery stores rather than specialized "health food" stores. It's a pseudo-grain, a complete protein (has all the essential amino acids) and contain significant levels of other nutrients, such as B-vitamins and iron.  It's recommended you soak quinoa before cooking, to release some of the bitter flavor from the seeds, but other than that extra step, it can be cooked just as you would cook rice - either stove top or in a rice cooker. 

But, then came kaniwa. Have you heard of it? It's a pseduo-grain, just like quinoa, and it's a seed that's cooked and consumed like a grain. The benefit? Kaniwa is an excellent source of protein, boasting a remarkable 16% protein content and also packed with fiber, iron, calcium and zinc.  It's a great gluten-free choice for people with celiac disease. The product is so new to the United States, that a complete nutritional profile of kaniwa is not yet available from the United States Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database, however with its expected increase in popularity, more detailed nutrition information may be available soon. If you're looking for a change in your diet or craving something new, give kaniwa a try.  You can grab it at some Whole Foods or online here.

RECIPE:

2 parts kaniwa + 1 part liquid (water or milk) in a pot and cook until it has the consistency of porridge, then add blueberries, coconut butter, maple syrup or another add-in for a high fiber, balanced breakfast.