Foods We Love: Amaranth | Seventh Generation
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Foods We Love: Amaranth

Author: LisaFerber

A friend and I were hanging out at my place when the subject turned to what we normally eat for breakfast. I told her that lately I've been into peanut butter, and that I tend to go through phases so there will probably be something new on the horizon. She then told me that her favorite breakfast consists of amaranth, mango, and maple syrup. Wow, what a concept! I decided to check out this little seed.

A few words about the history and nutrition of this gluten-free grain: Now technically, amaranth is a seed, but in terms of taste and texture, it functions more like a filling grain, great for entrees as well as side dishes.

Amaranth was first cultivated by the Mesoamerican Indians about 8,000 years ago. The Aztecs, who appreciated the food's ability to provide long-lasting energy, believed that it had supernatural powers. The seed's name is derived from the Greek word for "everlasting flower."

A half cup of amaranth offers 28% of a person's RDA of protein, 60% dietary fiber, and 55% iron -- pretty impressive.

Here's my friend's recipe for amaranth cereal:

1/4 cup amaranth
3/4 cup milk (cow, soy, hemp, oat, almond, or any combo)
1 mango, diced (optional, or substitute another fresh or dried fruit)
1 T shredded coconut
1 tsp maple syrup
2 T ground flaxseed
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Bring amaranth and milk to a boil, then simmer until most of the milk is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Put diced mango in a bowl and stir in cooked amaranth. Top with coconut, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Give another stir and serve.

Wipe up your spills with Seventh Generation's 100% recycled paper towels!

Do you have an amaranth recipe to share?

photo: Chantal Kreth


beccadog picture
I've eaten amaranth cereal for many years, with fruit and nonfat Organic Valley Milk. However, sometimes I use it as a garnish to top my yogurt just before it's ready to be served. I prepare a cup of organic Stonyfield Farm plain yogurt the night before by adding slices of dried organic mango to the large container which are thicken the yogurt at the same time as the yogurt soften the mango. The dried fruit adds just a touch of natural sweetness and lots of nutrition and won't stick in my teeth and increase my risk of cavities. I may also add some blueberries. Then, top the nutritious combo with amaranth cereal and devour!!! This is like eating dessert for breakfast. Yummy! By eating organic dairy and fruit, I reduce my risk of cancers from otherwise genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops. In the USA, soy, corn, cotton, canola (a Canadian crop), and sugar beets are genetically engineered either to be a pesticide in the gut of the insect and person who eats the crop as in the case of corn and cotton, or to sell more dangerous weed killers, as in the case of Monsanto's genetically modified soy, canola, sugarbeets. And, soon to be alfalfa, if the Center for Food Safety does not succeed (I pray they do) in the U.S. Supreme Court. Alfalfa is feed for organic dairy dairy and organic livestock as well as for horses and other animals who forage for a living. What this means to you and me, is that our groundwater (including bottled waters) will be more contaminated with toxic Roundup (glyphosate), whose symptoms are very similar to gastrointestinal reflux disease and are showing up in infants whose mothers are eating genetically modified foods and nursing, or feeding their children GMO foods as well. Eat organic and learn more at the Center for Food Safety, or the Institute for Responsible Technology. Then, enjoy your organic amaranth and organic dairy knowing you've purchased the best for your family and your health.
mysticlady1000 picture
I've been gluten free for about one year now. Amaranth is a staple! One fun way to use it is to cook it in a skillet or frying pan (no oil!) just low dry heat and shake it gently. After a few minutes it will begin to pop. It looks just like fairy popcorn! Use it as a garnish in yogurt, eat it by the handful, or sprinkle it on any of your favorite dishes for a little extra crunch!