Amaranth is not a grain in the traditional sense but rather a seed from the amaranth plant. It was a crucial component of the Aztec diet and culture, where it was not only consumed but also used in religious ceremonies. Originating from Mesoamerica, amaranth has spread globally and is recognized for its crop resilience and dense nutritional content.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: A 1-cup serving of cooked amaranth (approximately 246 grams)

  • Calories: 251 kcal
  • Protein: 9.3 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Fats: 3.9 g
  • Calcium: 116 mg (12% of the DV)
  • Iron: 5.2 mg (29% of the DV)

Where to Buy Amaranth:

Amaranth is available at health food stores, specialty markets, and online retailers. It can be purchased as whole seeds, flour, or puffed, offering various options for incorporating this superfood into your diet.

Foods Made with Amaranth:

  • Porridge: Cooked with milk or water, amaranth porridge is a warming, nutritious breakfast.
  • Salads: Adds a crunchy, nutty texture to both leafy and grain-based salads.
  • Baked Goods: Amaranth flour can be used in gluten-free recipes for bread, muffins, and pancakes.
  • Snacks: Puffed amaranth can be used in granola bars or as a topping for yogurt and desserts.

Flavor Profile:

Amaranth has a unique, mildly peppery taste with a pleasant, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor. Its texture can vary from creamy to crunchy, depending on how it’s prepared.

Health Benefits of Amaranth:

  • Complete Protein: Contains all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians.
  • Fiber-Rich: Aids digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness, supporting weight management.
  • Minerals and Vitamins: Especially high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation and prevent chronic diseases.

Conclusion:

Amaranth’s revival in modern cuisine is well-deserved. Its rich nutritional profile and versatile culinary uses make it an ideal addition to any diet, particularly for those seeking gluten-free alternatives or wishing to explore ancient grains. Whether you’re looking to enrich your meals with more protein or simply want to try something new, amaranth offers a delicious and healthful option.