Amaranth grain is a pseudo cereal originating in parts of Central and South America. Packed with protein, the seeds are cooked and eaten in the same way as true grains like rice, offering a nutty flavour similar to quinoa.
Having been cultivated for thousands of years, amaranth has an extensive history dating back to 1100AD in Central America where the seeds were found In Ozark rock shelters. However, the grain is more widely known for its prominence in Aztec culture as not only a food source but for decoration on worshipped statues. Amaranth was so heavily associated with the Aztec religion that it was outlawed by Spanish invaders in their attempt to impose Christianity on the natives.
Growing with red, gold, and purple leaves, amaranth has also been grown in the past as an ornamental plant and the leaves associated with medicinal properties. Today, amaranth is known for its protein content. As a complete protein, amaranth offers all 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot produce itself, contributing to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. It is also reputed for its antioxidant content, namely gallic and vanillic acid which contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
Substitute our organic amaranth for any cereal grain for a gluten-free alternative and a boost in nutrition and flavour. Amaranth seeds can even be heated like popcorn to make both a sweet and savoury snack.