Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Amaranth...I'm such a fan!!!!!!!

Okay, first of all, am I just ignorant of all of the different types of grains out there or are amaranth, teff, etc., grains that we just don't know much about in our society? I decided to try some amaranth today and before I began cooking with it...I thought I'd do a little bit of research about it. So, let's discuss amaranth.

Amaranth has an interesting history which includes being used for human sacrifice. It was ground up, mixed with human blood or honey (I think I would have preferred the honey), and shaped into idols and eaten by the Aztecs. This appalled the Spaniards, so when they conquered the Aztecs, they outlawed amaranth! Thank heavens for Guatemala, India, Nepal and Mexico where it is again being cultivated. It is actually making an appearance in the US and is gaining popularity.

In one cup of COOKED amaranth there are nine grams of protein, five grams of fiber and almost 30% of your daily iron! So...when I had my amaranth cereal this morning...I felt great! As a woman, I struggle keeping my iron at a healthy level, so I am always looking for foods that will increase my iron level. Amaranth works!!! Amaranth also has a glycemic load of 21 out of 100...which means it won't spike your blood sugar like other foods. Oh...I almost forgot...amaranth is gluten-free!!! So, if you are avoiding gluten...amaranth is a great food for you!

This morning, I was really ambitious and made 100% amaranth waffles for my kids and amaranth cereal for myself. The waffles were AWESOME!!! I LOVED them! My husband and my kids loved them, too!!! So...we had a healthy breakfast and my kids loved it!

Something I want to try is "alegria" a Mexican recipe that pops the amaranth and mixes it with a sweet concoction...we'll see how it works.

Recipes to come...

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