Quinoa is finally starting to become a household name in the U.S., but here’s a grain you probably haven’t heard of yet: kaniwa. Even if you’re just starting to learn how to cook, announcing to your guests that they’ll be dining on kaniwa will make you seem like the ultimate gourmet. Kaniwa is another ancient grain eaten by the Incas. One grain of kaniwa is about the third of the size of a grain of quinoa, so it’s quite tiny. Native to Peru and Bolivia, this grain (it’s botanically a seed) is pretty high in protein. One quarter cup of uncooked kaniwa has 7 g of protein. Plus, it’s a gluten-free grain, making it ideal for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
The same serving size of kaniwa contains about 160 calories, but keep in mind that it fluffs up quite a bit when cooked, just like rice and quinoa. Kaniwa also contains impressive amounts of dietary fiber and quercetin. The same serving size also yields an astonishing 60% of the daily recommended value of iron. Eat kaniwa for breakfast just like oatmeal, use it as a healthier breading for chicken cutlets, or use it in a cold salad instead of pasta.