Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More on Kaniwa: How to Cook & Flavor

Over the weekend, I cooked the kaniwa (pronounced kan-yi-wa) that I wrote about last week. I found kaniwa in the bulk section at Whole Foods, but it can also be ordered online from a handful of specialty food companies.

The easiest way to describe kaniwa is by calling it a mini-quinoa. (The two are from the same genus.) But it's really mini, so measuring it can get a little messy. However, unlike quinoa, kaniwa contains little or no saponins (waxy coatings), so it doesn't have to be rinsed.

I used the same water to grain ratio (2:1) for kaniwa that I do for quinoa. Stirring occasionally, I
brought it to a boil, lowered it to a simmer and let it cook (uncovered) for about 15 minutes until 95 percent of the water was absorbed. I let it sit for another five minutes to finish cooking.

The texture of the kaniwa was a little crunchier than quinoa. It had quinoa's nutty aroma and taste, but not as strong. Being so small, the kaniwa can get stuck in your teeth (think poppy seeds

The kaniwa is a little lacking when eaten plain, so I added some chickpeas, sautéed red pepper, chives, olive oil, lemon juice, unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper. It made for a great side dish, but kaniwa's huge protein content (16 percent) can allow it to be part of a well-rounded vegetarian meal.

While I'll work kaniwa into my cooking rotation, I'll probably continue to favor quinoa.


A Gluten Free Eater said...

This is a really good article. Finally I can eat healthy and make my taste buds healthy at the same time :)

Anonymous said...

Just got some of this today at Sprouts and am cooking right now--I often cook amaranth in 1/2 nondairy milk and 1/2 water, so am doing that with this...
then I add stevia, tons of cinnamon, a little coconut oil before I eat it and it makes an awesome breakfast!

sandiasunrise said...

What a good suggestion. About how long do you cook it. I have some but still haven't worked it into my routine. Thinking of trying it in a lentil curry.