- Certified Organic by A Bee Organic
- Certified Kosher by Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Suitable for Vegans
About the product:
- DELICIOUS NUTRITION: A cup of amaranth gives you g of proteins as well as B vitamins and minerals.
- GLUTEN-FREE GRAIN: As it isn’t really a grain and doesn’t contain gluten, everyone can enjoy amaranth crackers.
- SOURCE OF CALCIUM & IRON: Amaranth seeds provide you with more calcium, iron, and zinc than even quinoa.
- RICH IN FIBER: You get 5g of dietary fiber from every cup of cooked Organic Amaranth from Food To Live.
- 100% TOXIN-FREE PRODUCT: Food To Live Organic Amaranth is certified organic and free from GMO.
What Is Amaranth?
Native to the exotic tropical lands of South America, the amaranth plant has become quite well known on the US food market in the recent years. It’s definitely a great thing as this grain is very valuable nutrition-wise and offers a variety of benefits for any diet.
Food To Live Organic Amaranth is grown by environmentally-conscious farmers and processed at a top-notch organic certified facility. We make our products with love and care so that you and your family can enjoy adding them to a healthy diet.
Organic Amaranth is best bought in bulk as it keeps well and has a great many culinary uses that you can enjoy exploring.
Tumulus History of the Amaranth Grain
The cultivation of amaranth plants dates back for over eight millennia. These seeds were revered by the Ancient Aztecs and used in several of their religious practices. Considering its cultural significance as well as the numerous health benefits of amaranth, it can be surprising to see that this grain has fallen to obscurity and turned into a weed for quite a few centuries.
Spanish conquistadores were the reason of that. In their relentless fight with the native cultures of South America, they literally banned cultivation of amaranth plants because of their role in the spiritual practices of the Aztecs. However, even this couldn’t destroy the precious plant completely and it has continued to grow as a weed.
The search for healthy foods conducted by contemporary scientists has brought amaranth seeds back into the spotlight in the 1970s. As this return is rather recent, it’s quite understandable that this new grain is still fighting to win its place in the healthy foods market.
It’s quite interesting to know that such a tragic history did have an unexpected benefit for the amaranth plant. Due to the lack of cultivation, its genetic makeup has remained almost unchanged. This means that the amaranth grain of today is as nutritious as it used to be 8,000 years ago, which cannot be said about the majority of other cultivars.
Is Amaranth Really a Grain?
No, botanically speaking amaranth isn’t a grain, although it’s classified as such for the purpose of convenience. Like buckwheat, amaranth is considered a pseudo-grain, which gives it a few advantages. The most important of them is the fact that it’s easier for the body to digest, so you get more nutritional benefits from a serving of amaranth than you would from a similar serving of wheat or other actual grains.
As a plant, amaranth is closer to cacti and beets than it is to grains. Amaranth flowers and greens are even used for making some dishes in Central America. Although, those uses have yet to become popular in the US.
Considering these facts, amaranth can even be included in the famous Paleo diet. Although, even pseudo-grains should be limited in that meal plan.
Health Benefits of Amaranth Seeds
Amaranth grain is extraordinary in every way, and the overall total of its benefits is a definite proof of that. In fact, it’s considered one of the healthiest food options for the daily wholegrain servings due to all the vitamins and minerals contained within tiny seeds.
Dietary fiber, necessary for the support and healthy function of the digestive system, is one of the most important benefits of amaranth. This substance travels through your intestines, literally scrubbing out toxic contents and keeping the tissues toned. A diet rich in dietary fiber is the way to go if you want to improve your general wellbeing, and amaranth fits into it perfectly. Every cup of cooked seeds contains 5 grams of this precious substance. This amounts to almost % of the recommended daily dose for adult women and 15% for adult men. You get all that, along with a boost of various essential nutrients, but with a very small amount of fats.
Amaranth Nutrition Profile
Amaranth is a nutritional powerhouse among grains. Every cup of cooked cereal provides you with quite significant amounts of:
The grain is also exceptionally rich in various B vitamins that play parts in almost every chemical reaction within our bodies.
A plate full of cooked amaranth seeds and veggies makes for an extremely energizing meal. The good news is that calories in this grain come from vitamins and minerals instead of fats. This allows including amaranth in any weight management meal plan.
Amaranth Vs. Quinoa: The Healthiest Grain
Amaranth seeds are often compared to quinoa, which is a more popular ‘superfood’ among grains that has recently made its way on the US market. The majority of Americans are now well aware of the health benefits of quinoa seeds and especially their dietary value. However, many are still wary of amaranth as its benefits have yet to be as well-publicized.
The truth of the matter is that amaranth seeds are very similar to quinoa. Both these ‘grains that aren’t really grains’ are highly nutritious, rich in fiber and proteins, and low on fats. Their main ‘superfood’ values are almost equal, but if one digs for the exact nutrient count, amaranth comes up on top.
This pseudo-grain contains just a tiny bit more proteins. This difference might be only one gram, but it does count for strict diets, for example, those of bodybuilders. Amaranth also has higher contents of iron and vitamin B6, but a lower content of thiamin.
Amaranth in a Gluten-Free Diet
As amaranth isn’t technically a grain, it’s 100% gluten-free, same as buckwheat and quinoa. You don’t have to worry about this cereal irritating your bowels with this pesky chemical. However, you must understand that if it’s processed at the same facility as other grains, a risk of cross-contamination exists. You should always buy amaranth from trusted manufacturers that guarantee the quality of their products.
Amaranth Grain: The Source of Good Protein
If you are a vegan or athlete who needs to increase their protein intake from low-fat plant foods, amaranth would be the perfect grain for you. First of all, it contains twice as many proteins as the majority of other grains, even brown rice, which is considered one of the healthiest foods for bodybuilders.
Secondly, proteins in amaranth seeds are easy for the body to process. You shouldn’t forget that there are dozens of amino acid types and the human digestive system can struggle with many of them. This means that even some high-protein foods may not give you as many benefits as amaranth because your body wouldn’t be able to use all the amino acids they contain.
Most importantly, amaranth grain is packed with lysine, an essential protein (amino acid) similar to the proteins in milk. It’s one of the reasons why this grain is such a good food for vegans.
Many Uses of Amaranth
Amaranth seeds are used in a great many ways, and not only to make great cereal you can enjoy on its own or add to salads, stews, and stir-fries. Amaranth flour is getting more popular today as many people seek gluten-free alternatives for baking. You can either find or make your own amaranth bread, cookies, and crackers.
Amaranth oil has a great number of commercial uses due to its unique ability to stabilize temperatures. It’ll be right at home in any kitchen but it’s also included in a variety of cosmetic products, pharmaceutical drugs, aromatic products, and lubricants. The oil’s taste is rather mild, which allows using it as a healthier replacement for sunflower oil.
How to Cook Amaranth Fast
Amaranth is a very easy grain to cook. It doesn’t require extensive prior soaking, although let it stay in the water prior to putting it in a pot will reduce the overall cooking time. The easiest way to make amaranth cereal is to put the seeds in a pan and add 2 ½ cups of water per every cup of grain. Bring to a boil and let simmer at low heat in a tightly closed pan for about 30 minutes.
Amaranth cereal is considered cooked when all the water in the pan has been absorbed. However, you can make it porridge-like by adding more water from the start so that it would be more liquid once cooked. You can flavor it however you like with sugar, salt, or spices and make a great nutritious breakfast out of it. Amaranth tastes quite good with both fruits and veggies, so you can use it for sweet and savory recipes.
You can also enjoy ‘popped’ amaranth as a snack. To make it, you’ll have to toast the seeds in a skillet. Don’t use any heat and keep the heat turned up to the max. Add amaranth seeds by a spoonful and stir constantly to prevent burning. This snack is ready once the seeds ‘pop’, similar to corn.
Vegan Dinner Amaranth Recipes: Stir Fry
Stir fry is a staple dish for an American family. The best thing about it is that you can make it quickly and adjust the list of ingredient based on what you have in your fridge. If you have some veggies there and a cup of amaranth in your pantry, you can prepare a delicious and highly nutritious healthy dinner for your whole family very fast.
- 1 cup amaranth (uncooked)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup leeks (sliced)
- ½ cup green bell peppers (sliced)
- ½ cup mushrooms (sliced)
- ½ cup scallions (sliced)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (roasted)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Salt to taste
1. Start with rinsing amaranth as you would any other grain. Drain and dry toast the seeds in a skillet for about 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
2. Add 3 cups of water to the skillet and a tiny bit of salt. Bring to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and let simmer. If available, put a heat diffuser under the skillet.
4. Simmer for 30-35 minutes (the grain is ready when all water is absorbed).
5. At the meantime, heat up oil in a pan and saute the leeks until soft.
6. Add peppers and mushrooms, cooking for about 10 minutes at medium heat. Be sure to add a tiny bit of soy sauce and about a tablespoon of water.
7. Put cooked amaranth over the veggies and cover the pan. Let the grains heat through.
8. Garnish with scallions and pumpkin seeds and serve hot.
As no stir fry’s recipe is set in stone, you can change the ingredients to your favorite mix of veggies. You can also add a layer of wholewheat breadcrumbs between the vegetables and amaranth if you aren’t on a gluten-free diet.
Amaranth Seeds: Storage and Shelf Life
As amaranth is as close to a grain as one gets, its storage requirements are the same. This means that you have to keep the seeds dry and preferably in a cool place. Just like any other grain, amaranth’s shelf life is nearly infinite as long as it’s not ruined by humidity and subsequent mold.
The seeds have very little fats, but they do contain some, which means there is a small risk of them going rancid. To prevent this, you should store your amaranth in a cool pantry or fridge.
Due to extremely long shelf life and ease of storage, you can buy amaranth in bulk. This way, you’ll be sure there is always some healthy, gluten-free grain in the house. With proper equipment, you can even make your own amaranth flour and meal.
Bear in mind that those would need to be stored in airtight containers as well and their shelf life is usually shorter than that of whole seeds. This means that it’s best to grind small portions of amaranth grain at a time and use the meal right away.