Is it a herb? Is it a spice? Is it a grain?
Technically, amaranth is a pseudo-grain, just like quinoa.
Amaranth is an ingredient that you may be unfamiliar with, but here's why you should consider adding this supergrain to your baby or toddler's diet.
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Amaranth is an 8000-year-old grain that was once considered a staple food in the Inca, Maya and Aztec civilisations. The ancient grain was also traditionally used in rituals and for medicinal purposes, as it was believed that it had healing powers (yep - it's that impressive!).
The Amaranth plant is a relative of beetroot, spinach and Swiss chard, sharing many of their nutritional benefits.
Amaranth has an earthy, nutty flavour that works well in many dishes both sweet and savoury. It's a highly versatile ingredient that can be cooked as a porridge-like dish, used in baking or added to a salad.
Cooking with amaranth is pretty simple too - amaranth seeds can be cooked by boiling them the same way you cook rice or quinoa.
Health Benefits of Amaranth
- Unlike the most commonly consumed grains, amaranth is naturally gluten-free, making it a good choice for babies and toddlers with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity
- It's got one of the highest amounts of protein of all plant foods, making it a great addition to vegan and vegetarian diets
- Amaranth is the only grain that contains some vitamin C, helping to support immunity
- High in fibre (3 times as much as wheat!), which can help to keep your baby nice and regular
- Amaranth is packed with micronutrients, including manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, selenium and copper - it really lives up to it's supergrain status!
- Amaranth contains antioxidants which help protect against free radical damage to cells in the body, which can prevent diseases later on in life
Overall, amaranth has a pretty list of benefits! If you're looking got a healthy addition to your family's diet, we definitely recommend trying amaranth - especially for those with more plant-based lifestyles who may be lacking protein.
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