Thursday, October 9

Popped Amaranth

My new favorite way to eat Amaranth is to pop it like popcorn, but without oil in the popping. Use dry heat and then toss with melted butter and salt to taste. It is a surprising treat!

I sprinkle these on salads as topping and dunk fruit in the popped seeds. Last night I scooped up leftover garlic smashed potatoes into potato patty balls, fried them lightly in a skillet sprayed with veg. oil and then rolled them in amaranth seeds. Hey, if it's good for you...

I find on the internet that:

Amaranth and quinoa are seeds called pseudograins that contain exceptionally complete proteins for plant sources and provide a good source of dietary fiber and dietary minerals such as iron, magnesium, , copper, and especially manganese. Amaranth has a 30% higher protein than wheat, oats or rye and contains lysine and methionine, essential amino acids that are usually NOT found in grains. It is 3 times high in fiber than wheat and 5x higher in Iron and 2 x more calcium than milk. It also contains potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. Using amaranth in combination with corn or brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as fish, red meat or poultry.

Amaranth also contains a form of vitamin E which has cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period. Amaranth consists of 6-10% oil, predominantly unsaturated and is high in linoleic acid, which is important in human nutrition.


This grain is used in the Himalaya and is known as kiwicha in the Andes today. It was a staple foodstuffs of the Incas used by the ancient Aztecs. The Peruvians use it to make beer. It is a popular Mexican snack toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey or molasses to make a treat called alegría (literally "joy" in Spanish).

Amaranth grain can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient-dense thickening agent. Pasta made from this flour has the color of whole-wheat noodles and is the consistency of regular pasta. This grain has a pleasant nutty flavor that makes good tasting bread, muffins, bagels, pasta, milk, nut butter, cookies, gravies, sauces, pancakes, flatbreads, doughnuts, dumplings and as sprouts on sandwiches and in salads, or just to munch on.

This traditional grain originated in Africa, and is related to spinach and beets. The parent plant is so beautiful that it has a color named after it.

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