Almost a forgotten crop the Amaranth plant was grown by the Mexican Aztecs as many as eight-thousand years ago and used to make tamales and tortillas. Today it is grown around the world including North and South America, Africa, China, India, and Russia. It is valued for it’s high protein and lysine and methionine amino acids. It is rich in micro and macro nutrients with medical and digestive benefits favored by the Celiac and Diabetic. John Cole from Rodale Institute has written a book called Amaranth: from the Past, for the Future, says “it is one of the plants that could solve world hunger.”
Amaranth is not a grain but its seeds are ground into a fine powder or flour. Very dense
and heavy it is often used twenty-five to fifty-percent with other grains. Used for thickening soups, and sauces, it’s light and nutty flavor adds another flavor and texture profile. Commercially you can probably buy Amaranth flour at your local supermarket with brands like Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur’s. It’s very starchy when cooked.
Three Bakers makes a 7-grain bread that includes Amaranth flour. An Amaranth bread recipe can be found at Healthy Naturally. Amaranth Recipes can also be found at Bob’s Red Mill and pancakes at King Arthur’s. You’ll find Amaranth recipes in many Ancient or Whole Grains cookbooks. Dr. Robert Myers includes recipes for amaranth bread and cookies along with breakfast foods like pancakes, and muffins as well it’s history in his book Amaranth: An Ancient Gran an Exceptionally Nutritious Food.
- Amaranth flower photo by mayapujiati