Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Did you know about Amaranth?
Amaranth This amazing grain has recently been making a comeback onto the shop shelves and pantries in many countries; it was once the revered crop of the ancient Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that this grain possessed magical powers and could keep the body healthy and heal a variety of illnesses. Native to Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia it is a tiny seed about half the size of millet. So impressive is the nutritional profile of this grain that it has been cited as one of the world’s most promising foods. Grain amaranth is becoming readily available in health food stores, although you may have to request it in others. Amaranth flour appears to be a little easier to get and in many ways is more versatile. Popped amaranth is another variety, this is delicious when added to breakfast cereal; it also makes a nice topping for casseroles and salads. Amaranth, like its companion grain quinoa are to grains what the soy bean is to legumes. * Higher in fats than other grains. * Contains the highest percentage of protein of all grains. * Contains 16 percent protein. * Unusually high in lysine and methinonine, both amino acids. The high quality of protein makes amaranth a good companion to; * Legumes * Nuts * Seeds In addition it is among one of the highest fibre containing grains, rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C, a vitamin not usually found in significant amounts in grains. Amaranth has a strong flavour, nutty and sweet, its aroma is strong and not to everyone’s preference. When cooked as a grain it is sticky and glutinous and can be overpowering to use as a simple grain bed. Amaranth calls for you to be a little imaginative; * As a hot breakfast cereal, adding either dried or fresh fruit, nuts, honey, maple syrup or seeds. * Cooked in fruit juice in place of water, this will give you a result similar to jam that you can spread on bread and crackers. * Adding popped amaranth to salads. * Toast a small amount and add to the top of casseroles.