Move over quinoa, your little cousin from Peru is the newest power food to pop on the market. Kiwicha also known as amaranth, is a tiny whole grain that is gluten-free. This miniature version of the popular quinoa is known for its dense nutritional content. About the size of a poppy seed, it has been a regular staple in Peru for over 4,000 years,
Kiwicha is favored for many reasons, which includes being considered an anti-aging food because it is full of antioxidants. It’s referred to as a super food because it contains all 10 essential amino acids, and it is power packed with protein. One cup of cooked kiwicha provides nearly 10 grams of protein. That’s more protein than wheat, corn or milk. In addition, kiwicha contains lysine, an amino acid that is necessary for the construction of all proteins in the body.
One cup of the cooked grain provides over 5 grams of dietary fiber, nearly 20% of the daily fiber requirements for women. Fiber, as you may know, helps to prevent heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber helps to eliminate wastes and toxins from the body and helps to speed up weight loss.
Containing only 251 calories, a full cup of cooked kiwicha provides the healthy carbs you need to stay active. Diets that are too restrictive can sometimes rob you of the vitamins and nutritional value you need to sustain you. Kiwicha is great for anyone who wants to lose weight because it is high in fiber, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and manganese.
Kiwicha helps to restore the vitality of youth with phenolic acids, carotenoids and flavonoids, all high in antioxidants. It also contains squaline, which acts as an anti-cancer agent and has been said to lower LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Kiwicha has even been selected for the Astronaut’s diet due to its high nutritional value, Amaranth happened to be grown in space travel since 1985, flowering in space during the orbital flight of the shuttle Atlantis.
Kiwicha can be eaten as a cereal, a side dish, in salads or you can pop it and eat it like popcorn. You can also use popped kiwicha in casseroles and as garnishes for other entrees. Popping kiwicha is easy and requires very few ingredients. A great snack for anyone who is gluten sensitive, popped kiwicha also makes a great post workout treat.
What You Need:
½ to 1 cup pre-washed kiwicha
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
How To Make It:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add ½ teaspoon of the vegetable oil
3. Add about ¼ cup of grain, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Stirring grains with a wooden spoon as they pop. Kiwicha grains pop very dramatically and change from dark yellow to white.
4. Once the grains have mostly popped, remove them from the pan and onto a plate to cool.
5. Toss with salt and enjoy.