A Fun Way to Use the Ancient Grain, Amaranth

Do you eat your grains?  I’m not talking about white/brown or wild rice.  There is a variety of unrefined grains that you can try.

Did you know that Harvard University scientists found that women who eat whole grains are less likely to gain extra weight?

Start incorporating grains into your diet.  They not only help you lose weight (good fiber source), but they help you maintain your weight and much more.

It is best to eat unrefined grains, because refined grains lack the important nutrients, so make sure you eat unrefined grains.  Give these unrefined whole-grains (amaranth, millet, oats, quinoa, spelt) a try.

My Experience with Amaranth

I bought a bag of amaranth last year, but I had no idea what to do with it.  I tried making a salad dressing, and I ended up burning the amaranth.

After that experience and not really knowing how I could use it, I gave up on this grain.

I came across an excellent article that piqued my curiosity about amaranth and I’ll give amaranth another try.

While reading the latest issue of Natural Health, I came across an article, “Great Grains.”  This article written by, Matthew Kadey, M.Sc., RD, has a lot of information about grains and some very interesting recipes.  I highly recommend that you get your hands on the April/May issue, especially if you want more recipes using grains.

 What is Amaranth?

Amaranth is an ancient grain, meaning that it has been in existence for a thousands of years. Amaranth has been around for 8,000 years.

The Aztecs used amaranth as their staple food and in religious ceremonies.

Raw amaranth is not edible and cannot be digested.  Prepare and cook amaranth like other grains.

Amaranth has a high quality of protein (14 g). It is high in the amino acid lysine, which is low in other grains.

Amaranth lacks the essential amino acids, leucine and threonine. It is gluten-free, this is especially important for those who are allergic to gluten.

A Cereal Recipe (from Natural Health)

Popped Amaranth, Nut and Fruit Cereal

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1/2 cup amaranth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2 cups 1-percent milk (almond, coconut, hemp, rice, soy)
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut


1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-heat. When a drop of water sizzles in the pan, add in 1 tablespoon amaranth, cover with a lid and shake the pan as soon as the grains begin to pop vigorously.

Keep the pan on the burner until most of the amaranth has popped, about 10-15 seconds. (If amaranth burns, shake the pan about 1 inch above the burner when the popping begins.) Place popped amaranth in a large bowl. Repeat steps with remaining grains.

2. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Divide the popped amaranth among serving bowls and top with equal amounts of spice mixture, pecans, cherries, blueberries and apple. Pour in milk and top each bowl with maple syrup and coconut.

Per Serving: 388 calories, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 9.5 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 215 g sodium

Source of Information:

  • Wikipedia
  • Natural Health – April/May 2012 Issue (page 68)

Discussion:  Have tried amaranth and how do you use it?


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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

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  1. Healthy Breakfast From Amaranth Grain : | March 13, 2012
  1. Hi Evelyn, As a holistic chef I love to create recipes using a wide variety of unique products and Amaranth is one of my favorite gluten-free grains along with Buckwheat groats.It makes a fantastic substitute for other grains like couscous and the flavor is fantastic. Thanks for sharing the recipe and info.

    • Hi Shelley,

      Thanks for sharing and chiming in!

      I don’t know about the flavor, so I’ll take your word that it is fantastic. I have to get some soon. 😉

      Take care,


  2. Great, I hope you do!


  3. Tatianna says:


    I went to whole foods and I couldn’t find the grain. I looked in few different places by no Amaranth :(, I want to try it so bad. Do you know of a place where I can get it?

    • Hey Tatianna,

      You may be able to find it at a health food store. Some regular grocery stores carry it. Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand, that I’ve seen in grocery stores.

      I think I found mine in a small co-op natural health food store or a grocery store, I can’t remember exactly. I’m surprised that WF didn’t have it.

      I see that amazon.com has it. I’m sure you don’t want to order it online, though. I hope you can find some soon.


      • Tatianna says:

        Hi Evelyn,

        I went back to Whole Foods and I found it hidden in the isle, I made it this morning. I changed the recipe a bit and added raw honey, I also added some textured veggie protein ( another discovery for me ). The breakfast was wonderful, me and my husband both loved it. I will write a post about it tomorrow :).

        Thank you Evelyn

      • Hey Tatianna,

        That’s great! I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed it. 😉

  4. carly says:

    I tried an amaranth cereal a few months ago but didn’t like it. But the recipe you shared looks really tasty. I have to try anything with blueberries! Mmmmm! 🙂

  5. Frankly I was not aware of amaranth seeds/grain. I knew about amaranth vegetable, which I eat during some seasons, when it is available. But never thought of grain.
    Thanks Evelyn for the new info I found it here.

    • Hey Jupitor,

      What kind of vegetable is it? Is it the leafy part from the seeds/grain? Guess I’d better look this up, because I didn’t know this. Again, I learn something from you every time you stop by. I like that! 🙂

      Take care,


  6. Sara says:

    I’ve been looking for an easy cereal recipe and this one looks really yummi 🙂 can’t wait to try it!

  7. Tatianna says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this grain before. I am so interested to try it now, I just can’t wait to go to the store and get it. I looked over the recipe as well and I have to try it, this looks like something I am going to absolutely love. I do have a hard time sometimes with more then just few ingredients, but I am going to give it a try. I will make it this weekend YAM!

    Thank you Evelyn for this new discovery for me,

    Take care 🙂

    • Hey Tatianna,

      I hear you about the ingredients. You don’t have to add everything, only the items you like. That’s what I would do.

      Hope you like it! 😉

      Have a great weekend,


      • Tatianna says:

        Thank you Evelyn,

        I am definitely gonna try it and then let you know my thoughts, I might even make a blog post about it, I think it will be fun since I’ve never tried this grain before.

        Have a wonderful weekend as well 🙂

      • Hey Tatianna,

        I a post will be fun. Especially since you’ve never tried amaranth. I for one would love to read your post. 😉

        Take care,


  8. Susan Boston says:

    This was a wonderful post. I knew grains were good but honestly I never realized there were so many different ones.

    I also love learning about new herbs, grains and things it’s interesting besides being good for us.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Susan Boston

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