When perusing the cereal aisle, I have come across boxes boasting that they contain amaranth.
When perusing the cereal aisle, I have come across boxes boasting that they contain amaranth. This started me wondering, is it healthier than other grains?
Amaranth was a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs, who believed it had supernatural powers and incorporated it into their religious ceremonies. Ground amaranth seed was mixed with honey and then shaped into idols that were eaten. This practice appalled the conquistadors so the grain was forbidden by the Spanish. If it weren't for a few remote areas in the Andes and Mexico still growing this crop, amaranth would have been lost to us forever.
Today it is used in different cultures. In Mexico, it is popped and mixed with a sugar solution to make a treat called "alegria" (happiness). They also mill and roast the amaranth seed to make a drink called "atole." Peruvians use it to make beer, and the flowers can also be used to treat toothaches and fevers.
I thought it was a grain, but amaranth is actually an herb. The seeds are used to make cereal and flour (which is used to make pasta, bread crumbs, and baked goods). Amaranth seeds can also be popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted.
Yes, amaranth is highly nutritious. Want to know more? Then read more