If you have never heard of kiwicha, you are not alone. I just heard the name recently, so of course I had to share with all of you lovely readers. Well my friends, kiwicha is just another name for amaranth and amaranth is a wonderful gluten-free whole grain. Sometimes referred to as “the mini quinoa”, amaranth is considered a “supergrain” just like quinoa and its seeds contain impressive amounts of protein as well as amino acids. So, it’s actually a seed we are praising, not a grain.
Kiwicha hails from South America and it’s seeds are the size of poppy seeds. Kiwicha, or amaranth contains many vitamins such as vitamin A, B-6, K, C, folate and riboflavin. It also contains essential minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Eating kiwicha has been known to prevent grey hair as well!
Kiwicha supplies us with much needed fiber and the protein it contains is a complete source, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. This is great news for vegetarians and vegans who only consume plant based protein sources!
What’s in a name? The word “amaranth” in Greek means “everlasting”, while the Aztecs called it the “food of immortality”. In India is was called “rajgeera” which translates as “king’s grain”.
So I guess the next question is, how do you eat it?
Here are some suggestions:
- It can be sprouted
- It can be popped like popcorn
- It can be ground up into flour
- It can be used as a thickening agent
- It can be used in place or rice, pasta or couscous
To cook kiwicha, you need 1 cup grain (seed) to 2 1/2 cups water. Let this simmer for 15-20 min.
Add amaranth to your list of tasty gluten-free grains and have fun experimenting with the different ways to consume it! Remember, whole grains are the way to go!
For more information on going gluten free or recipes using gluten free grains, contact me!