Fun to say, amaranth comes from the Greek word “amarantos” meaning unwithering or never-fading. Native to Peru, it is prevalent in Mexico, and today, a vital food source in areas of Africa, India and Nepal — far from withering!

With a nutty flavor, it retains a certain crunch after cooked. More importantly, it is a complete protein, meaning it contains lysine, an essential amino acid missing or minimal in many grains. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, that’s a real bonus. Amaranth also contains more than three times the average amount of calcium for a grain and is high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as naturally gluten free. Amaranth is also an excellent source of fiber, containing 5g dietary fiber per 1 cooked cup.

Finally, amaranth is super easy to make. Just boil water, add your amaranth and stir occasionally for 15-20 minutes, then drain and rinse. Use it as a base, like rice, for stews, chili, etc., or add bouillon to the water when you cook and stir in sautéed veggies for a complete meal. We also like to mix it with quinoa to add a little nutty bite.

Amaranth Granola

Compliments of Chef Crystal Baldwin

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup amaranth
  • 1-¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 5 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup Market District almond butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Spread mixture evenly on a lightly sprayed, parchment-lined sheet tray.
  4. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break into clusters and store in an airtight container.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving):

Calories 310, Fat 13g, Sat. Fat 1.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 85mg, Total Carbohydrate 42g, Fiber 5g, Sugars 12g, Protein 10g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 6%, Iron 20%

Nutritional values are based on data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.