Amaranth, a superfood from Aztec times, is experiencing a major revival. The plant is an ancient crop with dozens of species cultivated for both food and ornamental purposes. The edible seeds and leaves of Amaranth are enjoyed in different cultures around the world. Particularly, grain amaranth and popped seeds are gaining popularity in Mexican dishes, snacks, and candies. Grain amaranth is loaded with nutritional excellence including calcium, iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, and vitamin B-6. Its starchy seeds are a “pseudocereal” with a healthy amount of protein, which makes it a perfect substitution for recipes calling for wheat, rice, or cereal-like textures.
As for vegetable amaranth, the leaf form packs an unbelievable amount of iron, calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber, plus vitamins B-6 and C. Preparation of amaranth’s leafy greens can be similar to cooking collard greens or spinach. And remember, amaranth isn’t just food for thought – certain flowering amaranth species are ornamental plants offering several feet of vibrant, colorful foliage when in full bloom.