Discovering Ancient Grains: What is Amaranth?

Reader Contribution by Bob's Red Mill
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This tiny “grain”—actually a seed—has a rich history dating back 8,000 years when it was first cultivated in Mesoamerica. The ancient Aztecs relied on amaranth as a food staple and used it in religious rituals, earning it the name “golden grain of the gods.” Use amaranth in porridge, polenta and quick breads. It’s a good source of protein, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber.

Savory Amaranth Fritters Recipe

These savory cakes make a delicious appetizer or side dish.

• 1 cup amaranth
• 2 tablespoons diced onion
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons unbleached white
• Flour
• 1 tablespoon chopped basil
• Oil, to fry

1. Place amaranth, onion, garlic, salt and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

2. Transfer amaranth to a bowl and let cool. Add egg, flour and basil; mix well.

3. Heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high heat in a wide skillet. Drop batter into hot oil 2 tablespoons at a time. Cook until browned, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with tomato sauce or salsa. Makes 15 servings.

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, a distinctive stone grinding miller of whole grains, was founded in 1978 with the mission of moving people back to the basics with healthy whole grains, high-fiber and complex carbohydrates. Bob’s Red Mill, now an employee-owned company, offers a diverse line of more than 400 all natural, organic and gluten-free flours, cereals, meals and mixes for pancakes, breads and soups that are available throughout the world.  With its dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facility and strict organic protocols, the company has emerged as a leader in providing safe and delicious natural, organic and gluten-free products. 

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