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Just thought you should know…How to Prepare Amaranth + 15 Recipes

A couple of weeks ago, in my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NUTRIENTS: PROTEIN article, I published the following list of plant foods that are complete acids, containing all 9 essential amino acids.

  1. Quinoa – 8.14 grams per cup
  2. Amaranth – 9.35 grams per cup
  3. Soybeans – 22 grams per cup
  4. Buckwheat – 23 grams per cup
  5. Hempseed – 31.56 grams per 100 g
  6. Chia seeds – 16.54 grams per 100 g
  7. Blue-green algae – 4 grams per tablespoon
  8. Spirulina – 4 grams per tablespoon

As you can see, on the list is a little “grain” called Amaranth. I received a comment from a follower on how to prepare Amaranth, and what to do with it. So, I told her I’d post an article. Here’s a shout out to SUSIESHY45. I do apologize Susie. I meant to publish this last week and just ran out of time.

So just what is Amaranth? Amaranth isn’t a grain at all, but the seed of a plant from 60 different species of amaranthus. (1) It is often called a pseudo-grain because it possesses many of the same nutrient qualities as grains.

It was used by the Aztecs and domesticated between 6000 and 8000 years ago. Due to the high nutrient content of the seed, it was heavily relied upon by ancient cultures. (1) It is native to Peru, but can also be found in Africa, India, China, Russia, South America and North America. (1)

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Here is the nutrient content in 1 cup of Amaranth: (1)

  • 251 calories
  • 4 grams fat
  • zero cholesterol
  • 15 milligrams sodium
  • 46 grams carbohydrate
  • 5 grams dietary fiber
  • 9 grams protein
  • 0.3 milligram vitamin B6 (14 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram vitamin B2/riboflavin (3 percent DV)
  • 0.6 milligram niacin (3 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligram vitamin E (2 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram thiamine (2 percent DV)
  • 2 milligrams manganese (105 percent DV)
  • 160 milligrams magnesium (40 percent DV)
  • 364 milligrams phosphorus (36 percent DV)
  • 5 milligrams iron (29 percent DV)
  • 13 micrograms selenium (19 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligram copper (18 percent DV)
  • 116 milligrams calcium (16 percent DV)
  • 54 micrograms folate (14 percent DV)
  • 2 milligrams zinc (14 percent DV)
  • 332 milligrams potassium (9 percent DV)

AmaranthGraphic.jpg

How to prepare amaranth

With all of the obvious health benefits, Amaranth does have a few drawbacks, like other grains, pseudo-grains, nuts and seeds. All of these foods contain properties, that act as built in defenses, which protect the plants.  These substances include: phytic acid, tannins, gluten-related proteins and enzyme inhibitors. (2)

These natural defenses are known in the nutrition world as “anti-nutrients” because they can inhibit nutrient absorption and cause a host of other problems, such as (2):

  • bind with essential minerals in the gut, flushing them from your body
  • block new mineral absorption
  • irritate the gut
  • inhibit digestion
  • lead to bone loss
  • cause allergies
  • put stress on the pancreas

But don’t let these drawbacks scare you away from trying Amaranth, or any other grain, nut or seed.  It simply means you need to prepare them properly.

Soaking Amaranth, (or other grain) in water with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice eliminates the anti-nutrients and begins the spouting process. This means the food has come to life, increasing the nutrient content. It also helps to partially digest the difficult to digest substances like, tannins, or gluten-like proteins. (2)

Soaking Tips: (2)

  • Combine the grains in a large bowl, covered with water (a couple of inches above the grain) with a dash of vinegar, cover with a cloth and set in a dark place.
  • Soak for a minimum of 6 hours. If you plan on having it for dinner, begin soaking in the morning, that way it’s ready when you want to make dinner.
  • If you’re making Amaranth Porridge for breakfast, begin soaking the night before
  • It can be soaked for up to 24 hours in the same water. If you choose to soak it longer, change the water/vinegar after 24 hours.
  • Drain the soaked grains and rinse them prior to cooking

Basic Recipe for Cooked Amaranth (after soaking) (2)

  • Because the grain has been soaked, it has absorbed water and will have a decreased cooking time and lower grain:water ratio. At this point you will need approximately 1 cup of water per 1 cup of grain. (will yield 2 – 2.5 cups)  (4)
  • Put soaked amaranth grains in a pot and cover with water until the level is about 1/2 inch above the grain.
  • Bring the water to a boil, without a lid, then reduce heat to medium-low for about 15 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, check the grain, if the top is dry, and it appears like the water is gone, stir with a wooden spoon to see if the grains have begun to stick to the bottom. If the bottom of the pot is dry, they are done.
  • For a more porridge like consistency,  use slightly more water and cook longer. (3)
  • Amaranth can also be made in a rice cooker. This takes about 20 minutes. (4)

Now onto some delicious amaranth recipes…

Amaranth Porridge

NY Times

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup amaranth 
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup milk, almond milk or rice milk(more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or brown sugar or, if available, Mexican piloncillo
  •  Pinch of salt

Follow this link for complete instructions:

NY Times -Amaranth Porridge

Tabbouleh-Style

Amaranth Salad

My Recipes 

image

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked whole-grain amaranth
  • 2 cups diced unpeeled English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup drained no-salt-added canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Follow this link for complete instructions:

My Recipes Tabbouleh-Style Amaranth Salad

Mexican Ranchero

Amaranth Stew

Making Thyme for my Health

Mexican-Ranchero-Amaranth-Stew-88_thumb.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 cup amaranth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, cored and diced
  • 2 bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 avocados

Follow this link for complete instructions:

Making Thyme for my Health-Mexican Ranchero Amaranth Stew

EASY AMARANTH PANCAKES

King Arthur Flour

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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups amaranth flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • *Add more milk for thinner pancakes, less for thicker cakes.

Follow this link for complete instructions:

King Arthur Flour – Easy Amaranth Pancakes

Baked Amaranth Meal Cracker

Flatbread Recipe

Book of Yum

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole amaranth grain (not flour)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • flavored olive oil (lemon or basil)
  • fresh basil, torn into pieces to garnish (optional)

Follow this link for complete instructions:

Book of Yum – Amaranth Flat Bread

Here are 10 more recipes

I hope I have inspired you to expand your culinary horizons and give this wonderful little “grain” a try. If you have cooked with Amaranth, how do you prepare it? Let me know in the comments below…I’d love to know! HAPPY COOKING!

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SOURCES:

  1. https://draxe.com/amaranth/
  2. http://cleanlivingguide.com/recipe/simply-amaranth/
  3. https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/cooking-cookware/cooking-with-grains-amaranth/
  4. http://revivelifeclinic.com/how-to-cook-perfect-amaranth/
About Tamara Hoerner (615 Articles)
I am a student at Hawthorn University working toward a MS degree in Holistic Nutrition. For me, the name Purple Almond symbolizes “Good, nutritious, whole food bringing light and life to the body, awakening the inherent healing mechanisms within.”

7 Comments on Just thought you should know…How to Prepare Amaranth + 15 Recipes

  1. Very informative!! I have been looking for a few recipes with amarnath. thank u.. 🙂

    Like

  2. This is very helpful. I have some wild red amaranth throughout my gardens and have been wondering how to use the seeds. And thanks for the fabulous recipes.

    Like

  3. Oh yay! A new grain to try. I will be sure to look for it. I imagine I will find it in one of the bulk containers at the whole food store. And your calling attention to it here will help it to stand out. By the way…the porridge recipe got my attention straight away. Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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