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Meet Amaranth, the Superfood You’re About to Be Obsessed with

Don't get us wrong: We love our quinoa. But there’s a new superfood that’s primed to take over our plates. Amaranth is a naturally gluten-free, high-protein grain and, like quinoa, a staple of the ancient Aztec diet. (Damn, those Aztecs really knew how to eat.)

So What Exactly Is Amaranth?

amaranthguide1 Rusian Sitarchuk/Getty Images 

Like quinoa, amaranth is actually a dried seed, not a grain. The Aztecs first cultivated the pink flowering plant nearly 8,000 years ago, and it now grows around the world in countries like China, Peru, Nigeria and Mexico. Naturally gluten-free, amaranth makes a particularly good breakfast grain as it takes on a porridge-like consistency when boiled.

Health Benefits

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When we say super grain, we seriously mean super grain. The list of good-for-you attributes goes on and on, but to name a few: It’s a source of calcium, magnesium and iron; studies have shown it can lower cholesterol; and it’s a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids. What's more, it packs nine grams of protein per one-cup serving, compared with quinoa's eight grams. 

 

How to Eat It

amaranth largeimage4 Katyenka/Getty Images  

Amaranth is an excellent option for your first meal of the day, but there’s a whole host of creative ways you can cook with the grain. You can use it in any recipe that calls for quinoa—you can even use the grain in place of risotto. So versatile.

Naturally Ella

Amaranth Porridge with Roasted Pears

Your go-to for a filling winter breakfast.

Get the recipe

Bob's Red Mill

Savory Amaranth Fritters

All that protein totally cancels out the fact that this recipe involves a little frying.

Get the recipe

Macheesmo

Mushroom Amaranth Risotto

All that protein totally cancels out the fact that this recipe involves a little frying.

Get the recipe

Epicurious

Pre-Workout Amaranth Bars

Gluten-free sweets are never a bad idea, right?

Get the recipe

Where to Buy It

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You can buy amaranth online, or in the bulk section of health-food stores and grocery stores like Whole Foods. Huzzah, we know what we’re making for dinner tonight.