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KIWI magazine

Pizza Poppers 

There’'s no doubt that superfood quinoa has exploded in popularity in the last several years. But now its more petite cousin, kañiwa, may be trying to grab the spotlight, as U.S. distribution of the crop increases and it’'s featured in more recipes and packaged-food products.

Like quinoa, kañiwa is actually a seed rather than a grain and is packed with nutrition. Both are high in amino acids and are a complete protein——making them especially appealing for vegetarians. Kañiwa, however, offers about four times more iron than quinoa and doesn’'t contain saponins, a compound that coats quinoa and other plants and gives them a soapy, bitter taste if not rinsed before cooking. Another plus: Since kañiwa seeds are half the size of quinoa, they cook more quickly.

Here we used the tiny seeds to create kañiwa fritters that, when paired with a marinara sauce, evoke all the classic flavors of pizza. They'’re the perfect way to introduce these little seeds to your little ones!

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cup kañiwa, uncooked
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup fresh corn kernels
  • ¼ cup chopped bell pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Coarse black pepper
  • GMO-free canola oil
  • Tomato sauce, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
  2. Add the kañiwa and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, stirring every five minutes, until the water is absorbed.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the kañiwa with the eggs and mix well.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients with the exception of the canola oil and sauce.
  6. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil.
  7. Form walnut-size portions into ovals and place carefully in the hot oil. (Tips: The oil shouldn’t be so hot that it spatters—just hot enough to form a perfect golden-brown crust. And don’t crowd the pan or the fritters won’t cook properly.) Turn once after 3-4 minutes. Cook for another few minutes, until golden brown on each side.
  8. Place the fritters on a clean dish towel to absorb any grease.
  9. Serve with the tomato sauce.


  • Serve with tzatziki sauce instead of tomato sauce.
  • Add black beans and serve with salsa for a Mexican version.
  • Shape into patties and serve with buns as a veggie burger.
Makes 18 fritters

Per serving (3 fritters): 211 calories, 6g fat, 13g protein, 26g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1g sugar

For breakfast: Mix cooked kañiwa with maple syrup and toasted walnuts and layer with yogurt and berries.
For a side dish: Kañiwa makes a versatile accompaniment all on its own. Just toss with olive oil and spices like cumin, turmeric, or simply salt and pepper.
For a quick dinner: Add stir-fried vegetables and top with a fried egg.

Kañiwa is available in specialty health food markets and from select retailers online. We used the certified non-GMO version from Roland ($7 for 13 ounces, Once opened, kañiwa will stay fresh for one year if stored in a sealed glass container in a cool, dark, dry place.
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