Move over, oatmeal. Amaranth is here

I’m an oatmeal addict. I think the idea of my peanut butter and banana oats gets me out of bed in the morning just as much as the thought of a steaming hot cup of coffee.

So, naturally, when I saw this post by PopSugar about an even better oat alternative, I had to check it out.

Credit: Associated Press

Credit: Associated Press

Amaranth – a rice-like grain popular among Mexican and Peruvian cultures—is a gluten free alternative to your favorite breakfast grain. But it’s not actually a grain. It can be referred to as a pseudo-cereal, meaning it belongs to a different plant species than most other cereal grains you know and love (oats, wheat, etc.)

It started as a major food crop of the Aztecs (who also inspired us to fall in love with “supergrain” quinoa), and spread to become an important food source in Africa, India and Nepal. In the last two decades, China, Russia, Thailand and Nigeria all started consuming Amaranth as well. Today, it is grown domestically in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouria, North Dakota and Long Island. It’s popularity is partially due to the fact that it’s a complete protein source, is high in fiber, contains healthy oils, and shows potential for lowering cholesterol. When cooked, it never completely softens like other grains, which lends to its translation from Greek: “everlasting.”

Perhaps the best part about amaranth is it’s versatility; unlike oats and quinoa, amaranth can be cooked like rice or polenta, popped like popcorn, baked into muffins, stirred into soup or fluffed like oatmeal.

Are you willing to swap out your oatmeal or quinoa to give amaranth a try?

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