Kaniwa is an ancient grain that grows in Peru and Bolivia. Botanically speaking, Kaniwa is actually a seed, but it is cooked like a grain. Ancient grains are called as such because they have been around for thousands of years without changing. Wheat, corn, and rice, on the other hand, have been bred selectively to look and taste much different than their ancestor grains.
Kaniwa, as with other ancient grains, is packed with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. It is also gluten-free. Though similar to quinoa, it is smaller and reddish-brown in color.
Preliminary Health Research
Kaniwa is an extremely nutritious seed. It is known for being rich in protein, fiber, iron and calcium, and antioxidants. This super grain is a complete protein, boasting all 9 essential amino acids and 7 grams of protein per half-cup serving. It's also an excellent source of antioxidants, the protective compounds that have been linked to lowering the risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease. Kaniwa delivers a hearty dose of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's especially rich in calcium, zinc, and iron. Per serving, kaniwa contains even more protein, antioxidants, and iron than quinoa! The grain, which has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor, comes from South America (primarily from the Andes Mountain region of Southern Peru and Bolivia).
It's also gluten-free like quinoa and just as versatile; use it in salads, soups, and stir-fries, or eat it for breakfast.