Although new to the American market awareness of this seed came into being just recently but has already gained a good reputation amongst those who enjoy similar nutrient rich seeds and grains. Often mistaken for a grain, Kañiwa is actually a seed from the cool mountains of Peru and was considered a sacred crop of the Incas since 3000 BC, and can be said that it helped sustain untold generations of those Indians in one of the world’s hardest places to live in. It has since been used in Peru for its high calcium and protein and considered to boost mental clarity in those who eat it.
Kañiwa is a close relative of the quinoa seed which is a grain like crop specifically grown for its seeds and both are oddly are not in the wheat family but a relative of rhubarb. Kañiwa is a pseudograin and is gluten free and very easy to digest. Although mixed into recipes in its seed form it can be combined with other flours to make breads, desserts, pudding, or even a tasty hot drink which is very similar to hot chocolate. Kañiwa also performs at its finest when combined with other flours due to its high protein density and can be very useful for those who are allergic to white flour so eating pizza, pastas and breads can no longer be a thing of the past for those with this allergy. Kañiwa is so small that it is basically all bran and we all know how good bran is for us as it is high in fiber and very nutritional, bran being the healthy part of the grain that is removed when white flour is made.
Kañiwa grain is extremely rich in protein and can provide a fully balanced meal when mixed with fresh vegetables. Kañiwa has a satisfying crunchy flavor and wonderful earthy flavor that goes great as a base for soups, fish, stir fries, cold salads and even as a rub for steaks. And as for its cost well, last time I checked the market it was at $ 2 per pound, fair enough.
The Indians may have known of thing or two about healthy living because of the addition of this seed to mostly all of their foods and hot drinks, and they lived for decades in one of the roughest environments in the world, and thrived.