Amaranth is a tiny South American grain that was a staple food for the Aztecs. It ranges from shades of rich gold to deep reds. High in the essential amino acid lysine, Amaranth is higher in protein than most other grains. It is packed with minerals and vitamins and is used in treatment of heart disease, hypertension, menstrual issues and blood regulation issues. And amaranth is one of the gluten free grains, in fact, very few people have an allergy or sensitivity to amaranth.
Delicious and easy to cook, amaranth has a mild, nutty flavor and lends itself to both sweet and savory dishes. Because it thickens when cooked it can add body to stews or soups. I sometimes double the batch I am cooking for breakfast and then pour out the extra onto a cookie sheet to dry. The amaranth will set up during the day. Brush the amaranth ‘cake’ with a little olive oil, add a dash herbs, maybe tomatoes or olives, a few wilted greens and a little fresh Parmesan then broil it for a minute or two – delish. The dried grain can also be popped and served with a little honey.