Amaranth, a plant found from the mighty mountains of Peru down to the plains of central India, is a traditional staple grain that has outlasted many generations. It has a few similarities to quinoa in terms of nutritional content but it makes for a great replacement for quinoa—which in India is expensive and difficult to procure.
Amaranth is fast gaining popularity in the modern world as a “super food”. We are of the belief that foods of the worker—the farmer, the village community, those who labour physically—have always been the healthiest options for the human body—foods that build immunity, resilience and health. Amaranth is certainly one such super food.
It is completely gluten-free and high in lysine—an amino-acid found in minor traces only in wheat and other grains; this makes amaranth a complete protein and a major sources of vitamins. Interestingly, amaranth is not a grain but a seed. Each plant produces up to 60,000 seeds in a season!
It has multifarious uses: amaranth can be used as a wonderful replacement to steamed white rice; it can be ground into a flour and used in place of wheat as a gluten free option; it can be used in place of quinoa in salads, bakes and other delicacies; the seeds can be popped and used on toasts or as porridge or cereal with some generous helpings of fresh fruit, seeds and milk/yogurt added to the mix; the leaves of the amaranth plant make for excellent salad or can be stir-fried with some chillies, onions and garlic with a slight salt and pepper addition for taste. Amaranth leaves are some of the most flavour some leafy greens to be found!
It is said that amaranth fulfills 75-87% of the nutritional requirements of the human body through its 128 plus nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It helps in optimising metabolism, prevents heart attacks, improves digestion, supports gluten-intolerant and Celiac patients, controls diabetes, promotes growth of muscles, prevents cataracts, combats anaemia, has anti-carcinogenic properties and even helps prevent osteoporosis.
Grown under natural conditions without the use of pesticides in high altitudes of the Kumaon Himalayas, the SOS Organics Amaranth has the highest calcium content among cereals and is rich in iron and vitamin B-17. With such a plethora of benefits, one must make it a very major part of life in the fast-paced world of today.