On the left is the dry grain toasted in a skillet (on low for about 20 minutes), then simmered for about 20 minutes. It reminds me of quinoa, but crunchy. Love the toasted flavor. (The red color is not from toasting; it's how it cooks up, which was surprising given the color of the raw grain.)
It made a great side dish with onions, carrots, and minced (cooked) kale. I may try it in a cold salad, something like Autumn's fabulous Quinoa Tabbouleh.
Cañahua Facts:1, 2
- Indigenous to the harsh plains of Peru and Bolivia (potatoes also originated in the high Andes)
- Grows well at high altitudes
- Resistant to frost, drought, salty soil and pests
- Seeds are tiny, about 1 millimeter diameter
- Seeds lack bitter-tasting saponin coat of quinoa
- Gluten-free, can be consumed by those sensitive to wheat, rye, barley, oats
- Less starchy (lower in carbs) than the rice and noodles which are replacing it in local cuisine
- High in protein (higher than quinoa), protein is complete which is unusual for a grain (includes lysine and methionine), amino acid composition similar to milk protein (casein), traditionally used for weaning
- High in fiber
- Low in fat (half the fat of quinoa)
- High in magnesium, calcium, iron, and other minerals
I hope ... the more people who hear about cañahua, and try it, and like it, and buy it, the less risk there will be of losing it to the black hole of modern industrialized food production.
2 Andean Nutrition, Exchange, and Ritual, Joseph W. Bastien