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 Is Amaranth?
Like quinoa, amaranth grain is a dried seed. 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.
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 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.
Where to Buy It
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.