What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is an ancient plant, around 8,000 years old, and was once a staple of the Aztec and Inca diet. It was also used for ritual purposes in these ancient cultures. Its name means 'unwithering', and the plant was a symbol of immortality.
Amaranth seeds, used as a grain, are gluten-free and a good source of protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C. They have a mild, nutty flavour.
Store the seeds in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and in an airtight container.
How to cook amaranth?
Amaranth can be toasted like popcorn and mixed with honey then left to cool to make a sweet and crunchy Mexican treat known as alegria, meaning 'joy'.
It is at its most nutritious however when cooked. Bring one part grain to two and a half parts water to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grain is fluffy. It can then be used as an alternative to rice, pasta or cous cous.
It can also be sprouted, added to soups and stews to thicken, or made into porridge by increasing the amount of water to grain.
Try Gluten Free Amaranth Potato Croquettes
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