Amaranth is a native crop to Peru. These grains were once considered a staple food in the Inca, Maya and Aztec civilisations. It is not actually a grain, however, it is classified as a pseudocereal.
The name for amaranth comes from the Greek amarantos, “one that does not wither”, or “the never-fading”. It is estimated amaranth was domesticated between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago.
It is the only grain known to contain Vitamin C.
Amaranth is packed with rich in manganese, it exceeds your daily nutrient needs in just one serving. Manganese is especially important for brain function and believed to protect against certain neurological conditions.
It’s rich in iron, which helps your body produce blood.
Varicose veins can be aided with the numerous flavonoids in amaranth, including rutin, which has been directly connected to eliminating varicose veins by strengthening capillary walls. With the help of vitamin C, an integral component in the production of collagen, which also helps repair and strengthens the blood vessel walls.
Amaranth is high in phosphorus, a mineral that is important for bone health. The high calcium content boosts bone strength and prevents osteoporosis.
Amaranth is a complete protein, with protein making up 13-14% of the grain.
Amaranth is good for celiacs, it contains no gluten.
It’s high fibre content, helps to calm the gastrointestinal area resulting in the smooth digestion of food and facilitates an efficient uptake of minerals.
Historically amaranth was an important part of the diet of warriors as well as a sacred plant that came into the cross-hairs of the Church’s war against paganism and indigenous religions.
It was criminalised by the Church in order to weaken the Aztec warriors in order to dominate.
Despite the churches best effort to destroy this worshipped grain, it has survived. Not only has it survived, but it is also now becoming more popular throughout the world as a gluten-free alternative.
The amaranth teaches you that despite other people’s effort to destroy your light or put you down it is in your cells to survive. It is deep within your being to fulfil your destiny.
It does not matter if you have had everything taken from you or lost all. You will still return victoriously. This tiny grain was the powerhouse behind many a warrior, fuelling them to protect their lands. It stands for the circle of life, it is never ending, just like you.
The plant was used by Aztecs to soak newborn babies in. The amaranth connects you to your eternal being. It reminds you that you are eternal. You are always expanding and growing. Even if it looks like your journey has stopped, it reminds you to have patience and wait as you gain momentum to expand more than ever before.
In life, you must sow the seeds and wait for it to grow. If you lose everything above the surface don not worry, your seeds still remain beneath, patiently waiting to grow again with the learned experience to grow farther and wider to ensure your survival is intact.
You can make amaranth porridge by substituting oatmeal for amaranth.
Pop amaranth just as you would popcorn.
Use amaranth flour to make cakes, muffins and bread.
Add it to smoothies and soups to increase the protein, fibre and overall nutritional content.
Try making ancient alegría, its name means happiness or joy. It’s popped amaranth held together by and made round in the shape of the sun and the circle of life.