What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is an ancient, nutrient-packed grain that has been cultivated for 8,000 years. It can be bought as grains, popped or puffed, or ground into a flour.
The grains come from the plant of the same name, Amaranthus. Its flowers are densely packed with seeds, with each one producing as many as 60,000.
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A bit of history
Amaranth comes from Mexico and other Central American countries. It was a staple food for the Aztecs, making up a whopping 80% of their dietary intake. In South America today, the grains are popped and sold as street food.
Let's talk taste
Neither sweet nor savoury, Amaranth has a subtle, slightly peppery flavour. When cooked it looks a bit like brown caviar. Try it cooked as porridge or mixed with other grains in salads to make them more nutritious. When popped it takes on a nuttier flavour and a crunchy texture.
Why's it so good for you?
The Amaranth plant is a relative of beet, spinach and Swiss chard, which means it shares many of their nutritional benefits. It is packed with goodness, rich in protein and minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. It also has 3 times as much fibre as wheat, and is gluten free. Most importantly, it is unusually rich in the amino acid lysine, which is often lacking in grains.