Amaranth is a perennial plant coming from Central America, where it was already known by the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans, who called it a “sacred seed.” Amaranth seeds can be used for various culinary purposes – they can be eaten raw as breakfast cereal, ground into flour, roasted ,or germinated.
Red-root amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus)
Amaranth rightfully belongs to the category of “superfoods” and has a delicious walnut-like taste. It contains provitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and B, and a lot of minerals – calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Amaranth is suitable for weight-loss diets and diabetics, because it has a low glycemic index. For breakfast you can prepare a great mash from amaranth flakes or combine oats and amaranth; for snacks you can eat amaranth bread; for lunch or dinner you can use amaranth as a side dish or prepare something out of amaranth flour. It’s suitable even for athletes who try to substitute vegetable proteins for animal proteins. Last but not least, it’s used in traditional medicine, where it serves as prevention and cure for many diseases, including celiac disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Main advantages of amaranth:
- The seeds are more nutritious than cereals, thanks to their having almost twice as much protein, fat, vitamin, and mineral content.
- Amaranth proteins have more essential amino acids than cereals, similarly to animal proteins, so amaranth is a great choice for vegetarians.
- Amaranth contains beneficial unsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid and linoleic acid, which help prevent joint pain and damage and slow the aging of the brain.
- It contains squalene, which is an antioxidant that supports the immune system and body regeneration and lowers blood cholesterol.
- Fresh leaves contain a lot of vitamin C, carotenoids and rutin.
- It doesn’t contain gluten, that’s why it’s suitable also for people with celiac disease and for athletes with mild gluten intolerance.
- Its low probability of inducing allergy suggests its easy digestion.
- It contains niacin, which reduces complications during diabetes and also anxiety and depression.
- It acts as prevention against breast cancer.
Have a taste of sweet amaranth pudding
- 60 g ( 2 oz ) of amaranth seeds
- 200 ml ( 0.8 cup ) of low-fat dairy or plant milk
- 20 g of honey
- 5 g of ( ½ Tblsp ) of cocoa
- 5 g of ( ½ Tblsp ) of chia seeds
- 5 g of ( 1 tsp ) of ground cinnamon
- 10 g ( 1Tblsp ) of lemon juice