Holy Amaranth: The healthy wheat from the Incas

Holy Amaranth: The healthy wheat from the Incas

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At first glance, the small grains look like cereals and are similarly prepared in the kitchen. However, amaranth is not a sweet grass like wheat, rye, etc., but a foxtail family. Therefore it is also called pseudo grain. The plant was cultivated in Central and South America 3,000 years ago. It was considered a sacred grain by the Incas and was one of the main foods.

The "Inca Wheat" has a fine nutty taste and can be prepared both spicy and sweet. The seeds are briefly boiled in twice the amount of water. Then simmer on low heat for 25 to 30 minutes and let it swell a little. Popcorn can also be easily made from amaranth to refine muesli and yoghurt. To do this, heat a pan with the lid on without fat. Put the grains on the hot floor and remove the pan from the heat. Stir a little and the seeds will start to "pop".

If you want to bake bread, rolls and cookies, you should mix the amaranth flour in a ratio of 1: 2 with flour made from wheat, spelled or rye. Because the pseudo grain does not contain any gluten, which gives the dough hold and flexibility. This property also makes amaranth the ideal alternative for people with gluten intolerance (celiac disease).

Amaranth is also interesting in terms of ingredients. It contains iron (8 mg), magnesium (300 mg), potassium (484 mg per 100g) and the essential amino acid lysine - an important component of collagen in the connective tissue. The high-quality protein (14 g per 100 g) is particularly valuable. This makes the "inca wheat" interesting for vegans who have to pay more attention to the protein intake.
Amaranth is often referred to as "superfood". "But individual foods cannot work miracles, even if their ingredients are so valuable," explains nutritionist Harald Seitz from aid infodienst. »However, the nutritious grains also add variety to the menu. Even if domestic grain products are correspondingly less polluting for the environment due to shorter transport routes, «says Seitz. Amaranth can be found in health food stores, drug stores and well-stocked supermarkets. The seeds can be kept dry and protected from light for several months. (Heike Kreutz, aid)

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