Canihua was domesticated by the settlers of Tiahuanaco, who established themselves on the tableland of Collao more than 3,000 years ago.
Seeds are very little (smaller than the Quinoa ones) and brown. It is an excelent source of protein (more than 15%) and natural fiber that enhances our nutrition. Natural good fibers help get the most of the carbohydrates present in the seeds, in a way that the blood sugar level is low, been then a food specially for diabetics. As Quinoa and Amaranth, Canihua has a high concentration of essential acids and fatty acids, making it a Super Food, a gift from the ancient inhabitants of the Andes.
The seed also has high mineral content, specially iron (good for the body oxigenation), zinc (for the inmune system). Its benefits are being studied, but preliminary ones, indicates that it counteracts altitude sickness and fights dysentery while the ashes of its stem can be used as a repellent against insect and spider bites.
Other studies show that canihua is a potential source of natural antioxidant compounds and other bioactive compounds which can be important for human health. (Total antioxidant capacity and content of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds in canihua (Chenopodium pallidicaule): an Andean pseudocereal. Peñarrieta JM, Alvarado JA, Akesson B, Bergenståhl B.)
You can consume it in many ways, been the most frequent and traditional in the form of lightly roasted, ground grains which produce a pleasant flour called canihuaco. This is consumed on its own, in cold or hot drinks, or in porridges. It has been used in the bakery industry with excellent results.