Cherry Lime Kañiwa Muffins

Hey friends! Hope you all eased into April and are enjoying warmer temps in your neck of the woods. I am frankly stunned at how fast the time has flown by since the beginning of March. Are you? I’m happy to report, though, that my past month has been full of fun and excitement, including:

1) Celebrating 2 very important birthdays ♥

2) Revamping my website to include an entire dedicated review section where I have an ongoing feed of my favorite vegan friendly resources and products. I also started a facebook fan page for my book where I’ll be announcing book related events and news, giving away a few recipes until the book’s release, and sharing other fun tidbits along the way.

3) Joining an amazing group of people in Philly at Indy Hall, where the focus is to come together and talk about food. Yes please, and thank you!

4) Attending a slew of awesome art events (one that my own husband was involved in–he’s an electronics art geek, and I love him for it)

5) Getting invited to be on The Dr. Don Show this Tuesday the 10th at 3pm PST to talk about ‘Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats’. Tune in!

6) Finally meeting in person and giving a giant hug to someone who I have adored for a very long time, Miss Jaime K from Save the Kales, who ehem, now has her own tv show!!! All vegan, all awesome. Jaime and I have been interwebz pals since we both started our blogs about 3 or so years ago, and I am just tickled hot pink that this wonderful lady is finally getting the attention she deserves. Check it out here.

7) Hosting Christy Morgan (The Blissful Chef) and her sidekick Kate for a bit of their stay in Philly. Good times! While here, Kate shot this great video of Christy, Jaime and I cooking up what Christy calls “Popeye Cakes”

8) Brunching it up with the entire lovely crew of From A to Vegan before they interviewed Christy in Rittenhouse Square.

9) Heading up to Brooklyn and hanging with some of my favorite peeps, getting inspired, relishing the subway.

10) Meeting, laughing with, and learning from many of my culinary heroes at IACP in New York City. Having an all around fabulous time.

11) Writing, recipe developing for, and getting some good news about my next book!!!!  Details to come… hope you’ll stay tuned!

Also, I learned about Kañiwa!

I know what you’re thinking… kani-what?

Kañiwa. It’s pronounced kah-nyee-wah and it’s a pretty nifty little grain that I was introduced to by Roland Foods. I was sent a huge array of delicious Roland brand foods, including a package of this grain dubbed “baby quinoa”. It packs a nutritional punch stronger than its relative quinoa, even though it’s roughly a third of the size.

The dark brown grain is the Kañiwa and the white grain is Quinoa. See how small the Kañiwa is? One difference between kañiwa and Quinoa, aside from the obvious size, is that kañiwa doesn’t contain saponins, and Quinoa does. Saponins (what many refer to as simply “a toxic coating”) make it necessary to rinse quinoa before eating and therefore complicates its use. I’m not too versed in rinsing quinoa since the brand I typically purchase is pre-rinsed, but I imagine that it would be a gigantic pain in the fanny. Score one team kañiwa!

The cooking time is virtually identical to quinoa and you can most likely even cook them together — 1:2 ratio grain:boiling water, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed for about 15 minutes. Of course, you can find these cooking instructions on the package as well. The texture is, well, smaller but it’s similar to quinoa. It makes an outstanding breakfast cereal.

You can use the cooked kañiwa in a variety of ways. I opted to incorporate them into some lime flavored muffins with a tart cherry glaze — à la lemon poppyseed loaf. They are moist, fluffy and hovering just a little-but into cake territory with the nutritional powerhouse stats of kañiwa bringing them right back down to muffin land.

I have no idea what I just typed there. Can you tell it’s been a long month?

Onto the muffins!

cooked kañiwa

Cherry Lime Kañiwa Muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup  sweet white rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3/4 cup cooked kañiwa

Preheat oven to 350 °F and line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine superfine brown rice flour, cornstarch, sweet white rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar. Stir well to mix.

In small bowl, stir together the lime juice and almond milk until curdled. Stir into flour mixture along with the olive oil and zest. Fold in the cooked kañiwa.

Divide evenly among the 12 pans and bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until lightly golden on tops and knife inserted into middle comes out clean.


Let cool completely and then cover with glaze.

cherry glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons sour cherry preserves
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

To make glaze, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Glaze will harden at room temperature.

Share with friends!

9 Responses to Cherry Lime Kañiwa Muffins

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  2. Stephanie says:

    These muffins look delicious!

  3. Vegetarians says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Kaniwa and looking at your muffins I must say that you made a fantastic job. This is a must try! I was thinking of frosting it with Vegan Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting out of sweet potatoes. What can you say?

  4. Thanks for sharing the information about kaniwa, now to locate it! These muffins look AMAZING!

  5. Britt says:

    I love adding cooked whole grains into baked goods–it always adds a little something-something–and what a fun combo of flavors these muffins have! Kaniwa sounds great. I’m going to have to pick some up soon.

  6. Thank you for sharing! I had no idea baby quinoa even existed, let alone it was so awesome. These muffins look magical…I hope that my local co-op gets some of this kaniwah, so I can try these out for myself! :)

  7. Vegyogini says:

    What a fantastic combination of flavors! I have no idea where and when I’ll be able to get my hands on the mysterious kaniwa, but you can bet that I will make these muffins as soon as I do!

    Super excited to hear the new book announcement when it’s time!

  8. Mmm I love the flavours in these. So unique!