What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is classified as a pseudo-cereal, but they are not in the same botanical family as true cereals such as wheat or rice.
It is not a commonly used grain. They are even less common grown as a plant used in the microgreen community, however it is gaining popularity. One of the main reasons I think a lot of microgreen growers may not be growing it, is because of the high cost of organic high quality seeds, germination rates and the fact that it is one of the more difficult microgreens to grow? Speaking from my own experience and as an educated guess, of course.
I have chosen to grow it as a microgreen primarily for the amazing health benefits and I LOVE the texture and visual interest it lends in plate presentation.
Some of the amazing things you may not know about amaranth;
It is a gluten-free grain
Amaranth contains the important amino acid Lysine, which is a protein building block
It is higher in protein than other grains. 1 C. of Amaranth contains 28.1 Grams of protein compared to Oats, which contain 26.1 Grams.
The plant can be consumed as a microgreen, (the seeds have to be cooked first)
It was a staple in the Aztecs diet
The leaves are high in Vitamin C, Folate, Zinc and Vitamin A
High in Calcium. The oils and phytosterols it contains helps to lower LDL and triglycerides.
It is HIGH in Antioxidants and Minerals
Works as an appetite suppressant
Easy to digest
Improves eye sight
Amaranth helps to reduce premature hair graying with its high mineral content. (Use after shampooing).
Amaranth can boost energy and aids hydration too!
I think that the research makes this a definite SUPER FOOD! If you haven't tried Amaranth, I highly suggest them.
I will be honest they DO NOT have much flavor! I eat the leaves and shoots for the health benefits and I LOVE to plate them on dishes and top salads with them. They are very pretty!