What’s the deal with.. amaranth?

it's the perfect alternative for certain grains

While it was introduced as “the new quinoa”, it hasn’t reached the same popularity as quinoa yet. However, I think it’s time to introduce you to these healthy, nutrient seeds. Want to know what I’m talking about? It’s amaranth!

What is amaranth?

Just like quinoa, amaranth is an ancient grain originally from the Andes. The people there have been eating it for years. Amaranth looks like a grain (and that?s also the shelf where you will find it in the grocery store) but actually it are the seeds of a plant. One plant can produce up to 60.000 seeds!

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Since amaranth is not a grain, it doesn?t contain any gluten. That makes it the perfect alternative for grains if you can’t or don’t want to eat them. It’s consistency is porridge-like when it’s cooked and it has a mild nutty flavor.

Because of quinoa’s sudden popularity, it was hard to meet this growing demand. Therefore the price of quinoa went up and can still be a bit pricey. Amaranth is a nice, more affordable alternative.

Is amaranth healthy?

Yes, amaranth is healthy! It’s packed with great nutrients. Amaranth contains vitamins B and E. As you might know, vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the cells in your body. Amaranth also contains minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. And it’s a good source of protein and fibers as well!

How do you use amaranth?

You can use it in different ways. When cooked, you could use it as a substitute for rice or quinoa. Add some roasted veggies and you have a lovely and healthy meal. You should use about 75 grams of amaranth for one person. Use double the amount of water. Combine the seeds and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Add more water if it’s too thick or cook it longer to make it more creamy.

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Regular amaranth (above) & popped amaranth (below)

The longer you will cook the amaranth, the more porridge-like it will get. That’s why amaranth also makes a great breakfast. Add some fruit and coconut milk for example and you have a nice variation to a regular oatmeal breakfast.

You can also pop the amaranth, kind of like little popcorn! It will bring out the nutty flavor. Popped amaranth is also great to use in homemade granola mix or energy bars. Or you could use it as a topping on soups.

What about you?

Have you tried amaranth yet? If so, do you like it? How do you use it? Please let me know over on Twitter or leave a reply at the Sophia van Sorgen Facebook page!

Lots of love,
Sophia

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