Meet Quinoa’s Counsin: Kaniwa

Meet Quinoa’s Counsin: Kaniwa

red quinoa grain

By Alexandra Orlan, Guest Blogger

Everyone has heard of quinoa but have you heard of kaniwa? Kaniwa has been around for a while, but is gaining popularity. It could have something to do with the fact that it’s a cousin of quinoa.

What Is It?
Kaniwa, smaller in size than quinoa, grows in Peru and Bolivia. This red-brown grain has a similar, nutty taste like quinoa, but without the bitterness since they don’t contain saponins (that’s what gives quinoa its bitter taste if it’s not rinsed well). Kaniwa is gluten free, and very versatile in the kitchen.

Nutritional Benefits
One-quarter cup serving of dry kaniwa contains 160 calories, about 15 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber. It also contains some calcium, iron, and trace amounts of riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.

Kaniwa also contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. These plant chemicals can help reduce your risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

Where To Buy It?
Kaniwa is prepared the same way as quinoa cooked with water or flavored broth in a 1 to 2½ ration (so 1 cup of dry kaniwa to 2½ cups water). You can purchase it in Wegmans, Wal-Mart, or online at Amazon. Store dry kaniwa in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Kaniwa Recipes To Try


Alexandra Orlan is a junior dietetics major this fall at the University of Delaware. She hopes to become a registered dietitian and use her passion for food and health to better others’ lives.

, ,
1 Comment
  • Heather Mason
    Posted at 14:11h, 08 February Reply

    Dang, 15 grams of protein in a 1/4 cup servings, that’s impressive! I will have to get some of this kaniwa.

Post A Comment