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Amaranth, An Amazing Gluten Free Grain

By Edited Jun 19, 2015 2 3

Gluten Free Amaranth Is Healthy And Nutritious

Amaranth is a gluten free grain packed full of nutrition and should be a part of any gluten free diet. Amaranth offers an amazing nutritional value by any measure whether compared with other gluten free grains or all grains. Amaranth was grown by the Mayans, Incans and Aztecs for thousands of years – and with good reason. Amaranthus is actually a genus of genus herbs which, collectively are known as amaranth. Approximately 60 species of amaranth are recognized and, although several species are often considered weeds, people the world over value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, as a root vegetable and even as ornamental plantings.

Amaranth Grains
Several ancient amaranth grain species are raised in the Americas and in Asia. Technically amaranth, like quinoa, considered another gluten free grain, is not a grain as it is not a member of the grass family. However it's use by those on a gluten free diet, particularly by those who have Celiac disease, is principally that of a grain.  It really is one of the best gluten free products for those who are allergic to wheat.  There are many excellent gluten free recipes for amaranth to help you incorporate amaranth into your diet.

Amaranth grain provides an excellent complete protein source and in addition provides exceptional levels of dietary fiber, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids including iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and lysine and Vitamin E. At over 28 grams of protein per cup of raw amaranth, it provides more protein than any other gluten free grain. Amaranth also provides more magnesium, more fiber and more iron than any other gluten free grain. Finally, it is the only grain known to contain Vitamin C.

Gluten Free Amaranth
Amaranth has been gaining ground in recent years in the US as more and more people are rediscovering amaranth and its health benefits. It's now relatively easy to find it stocked at most major grocery retailers however it can be a little expensive, especially in small packages.  A more cost effective option is to purchase amaranth in bulk online.  When you buy in bulk online it becomes much more affordable, particularly with free shipping options available for buying amaranth online at Amazon.

How To Cook Amaranth

Eating amaranth raw causes some nutrients to be blocked from absorption in the body. Therefore, while you can eat amaranth raw if you wish,  it should be cooked before eating to get the full range of benefits from its protein profile. There are a variety of methods of cooking and uses for amaranth in recipes. It can be cooked similar to oatmeal and eaten as a hot cereal, if you have a rice cooker fetish you can even cook amaranth in a rice cooker as an alternative to rice or other gluten free grains like bulk quinoa and millet.  In fact, cooking amaranth in a rice cooker is perhaps the easiest way to cook it since you can just measure out the water and the grain, put in the pot and switch it on and the cooker do the work.  Amaranth is often used as a flour in baking and can even be popped like popcorn. Due to the moisture absorbing properties of amaranth, when used in baking it is best to combine it with other flours for best results.

There are a wide variety of amaranth recipes available for those interested in new ways to prepare this versatile grain. Whether or not you are on a gluten free diet you should definitely consider giving amaranth a try if you haven't already. If you're already familiar with it, experiment with new recipes or new ways of preparing it.  Perhaps the biggest difficulty is finding an affordable source.  If you plan on eating it often, buying amaranth in bulk is your cheapest option - unless you decide to grow it yourself.

Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Grain Amaranth, 16 Ounce
Amazon Price: $5.15 $4.02 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 19, 2015)
The New Book Of Whole Grains: More than 200 recipes featuring whole grains
Amazon Price: $22.99 $6.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 19, 2015)
Amaranth Grains
Credit: From Amazon
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Comments

Jan 19, 2011 6:49pm
footloose
Nice info. I find it soooo pricey- like $8-10/lb. Great for GF though!
Jan 23, 2012 11:04pm
CortCaldwell
I like to mix a bit in with my millet grits or cream of buckwheat cereal. It adds a very nice texture.
Jun 16, 2015 7:11am
LavenderRose
I have not ventured into the realm of gluten-free whole grains yet. Didn't realize that amaranth was a grain you could cook like rice.
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