Canihua - what is it?

Oct 19, 2022 Michał Pelc

Canihua (kaniwa) is another plant native to Peru and Bolivia whose properties amaze doctors and nutrition experts. It is hard to believe that the tiny grains - resembling the poppy seeds we know - contain such power. Here's everything you need to know about canihua (kaniwa), as well as information on how to cook and use these beans.

Canihua is a product that is not widely known with us yet. It is a pity, because the tiny seeds of this plant contain health itself. Canihua (pronounced kanilła) owes its extraordinary properties to the area it comes from. It grows at an altitude of about 4,000 m in the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world. To survive in such harsh conditions, it must be exceptionally resistant to the harsh mountain climate: humidity, wind, low temperatures.

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Why is cahihua so special?

Doctors and nutritionists appreciate the properties of this plant for several reasons.

  • The first thing. Canihua (kaniwa) is an extremely valuable source of fiber. Perfectly nourishes, improves digestion and is irreplaceable when trying to achieve a slim figure.
  • Canihua (kaniwa) can also be characterized by a high iron content (100 g satisfies as much as 60% of the daily requirement), which is important for the circulatory system and the proper absorption of vitamins and minerals. Here, however, you must remember to eat a meal with canihua along with products rich in vitamin C , such as: green parsley, pepper, spinach or Brussels sprouts, which improves the absorption of this element.
  • Another important mineral that can be found in canihua is zinc , essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, nice hair and nails.
  • It also contains a lot of folic acid, which is needed especially by women planning pregnancy, because it determines the proper development of the fetus and prevents defects of the nervous system in children.
  • The list of pro-health ingredients is supplemented with B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium and antioxidants , as well as gluten-free, easily digestible protein.

Who Should Eat Canihua Beans?

Canihua will be a valuable supplement to the diet , primarily of elderly people, suffering from anemia, skin or hair problems, and athletes. As it is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, it should be on everyone's menu. It strengthens the immune system and as it does not contain gluten, it can be used by people on elimination diets with intolerance to this ingredient.

How to use canihua?

It's easy! Canihua seeds (kaniwa) can be cooked on their own as porridge and served with lunch or dinner, or added to various dishes. In traditional Peruvian cuisine, canihua beans were first roasted, ground, and then made into a porridge or added to drinks. The properties of this unusual mountain plant, however, should be used in a wider way by adding it, for example, to a cake. Baked goods with the addition of canihua acquire a dark look and taste that is described as original, raw, traditional and noble. These grains are also great as an ingredient in breading for meat, fish, thickener for soups, or as an ingredient in puddings or stuffing with vegetables and dumplings. It can also be added to cereals and smoothies.
Canihua kaniwa grain powder ) also works as a substitute for chocolate for desserts, cakes, and even as an addition to milk. In this way, we will get a drink that resembles cocoa. Roasted canihua is an excellent, healthy snack. It is prepared in the same way as corn popcorn. (Speaking of popcorn - I invite you to read the text of our other blog text "How to make real popcorn" ).

Canihua grains can also be an interesting variety for other types of groats, rice, potatoes or French fries. Sometimes it is even called the cousin of the more well-known quinoa (we wrote about quinoa in the blog article "Quinoa for beginners" , as well as in an article on the Interia portal.

How to cook canihua?

It is prepared similarly to millet. Pour a glass of grains with 2 glasses of water and cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then let it rest for about 5 minutes. You can add a small amount of butter ( clarified butter necessary) or coconut oil (read more in the article on the Cafeteria portal) and mix.

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Canihua grains (kaniwa) do not require long rinsing as they are devoid of saponin compounds, so they do not have bitterness, the aftertaste of which does not suit everyone.

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