So here’s what’s on the plate today: amaranth seeds. This gluten-free seed (it’s not a grain, very similar to quinoa) is probably not much heard of outside of a few cultures, but in India, it’s a big part of our diet and tradition. Here, the air-popped seeds are mixed with jaggary, peanuts, and cardamom, and shaped into confection balls or bars.
Some interesting amaranth facts:
- The Aztecs believed that amaranth gave them mystical, supernatural powers. Warriors and runners ate it for strength.
- The seeds are high in protein and contain high amounts of lysine and methionine, two types of amino acids, making it a more complete source of protein than most grains (30% more). Using them in combination with wheat, corn, or brown rice equals the protein content to fish, red meat, or poultry.
- Amaranth seeds are also high in fiber, calcium (twice as much as milk), iron, potassium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, E.
- Amaranth is super-easy to digest (90% digestible) and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period (very common fasting food in India).
- Amaranth has a low glycemic Index (2.4), keeping you full, longer.
Here’s how I enjoy my amaranth porridge:
|Warm milk. Hot is best since the seeds soak in more readily.|
|Add popped amaranth seeds. More or less depending on the consistency you like.|
|Mix and let it stand for about 2 minutes so that the seeds soak in the milk and it gets creamy.|