Amaranth

by Allergy Guy

Amaranth is a grain replacement and is suitable for a gluten free diet.  It can be used in many ways, some of which are discussed here.

Amaranth has a nutty but not particularly strong flavor.  Cooked on its own, it has enough flavor to be interesting.

Although a seed, amaranth is not a grain, putting it in a different family from rice and corn as well as the problematic, for those with celiac disease or a gluten allergy, wheat, barely, rye and oats.  Amaranth is therefore a pseudo-grain or pseudocereal.In the parts of the world where amaranth is grown, the leaves can be used as vegetables, making this an important plant in some societies, for example ancient Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru.  Amaranth production was curbed by the Spanish Conquistadors as a method for subjecting and controlling the locals, it is making a small-scale comeback in these countries.  Other strains grow throughout the tropics, and it is cultivated in China, India, Nepal and others.  Many strains are considered weeds, often known as pigweed.

Meanwhile, amaranth has been discovered by the rest of the world, mostly on a small scale.  It is readily available in Canada and the US.

Amaranth is an good source of protein and an excellent source of the essential amino acid lysine, especially compared to regular grains.  However it lacks in other nutrients in which grains are rich, so including both amaranth and grains such as rice is recommended for a balanced gluten free diet.

Amaranth can be eaten as a whole grain or as flour.

Amaranth whole grain can be used as a breakfast cereal, in soups, in stuffing instead of bread crumbs, and many other uses.

Amaranth flour can be used in baking, although it lacks a binder and must be mixed with other ingredients for successful results.

What is your experience with amaranth?  Is it easy to find where you live?  Do you like it?  Share your stories, questions, comments and recipes.  Please leave a comment.


Nutritional Information

Amaranth


Refuse: 0%
Scientific Name: Amaranthus spp.
NDB No: 20001 (Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion)

 

NutrientUnitsValue per
100 grams
Number
of Data
Points
Std.
Error
1.00 X 1 cup
——-
195g
Proximates
Water
g
9.84
11
0.748
19.19
Energy
kcal
374
0
729
Energy
kj
1565
0
3052
Protein
g
14.45
12
0.688
28.18
Total lipid (fat)
g
6.51
12
0.327
12.69
Ash
g
3.04
11
0.651
5.93
Carbohydrate, by difference
g
66.17
0
129.03
Fiber, total dietary
g
9.3
7
1.691
18.1
Minerals
Calcium, Ca
mg
153
10
6.859
298
Iron, Fe
mg
7.59
9
0.552
14.80
Magnesium, Mg
mg
266
10
9.715
519
Phosphorus, P
mg
455
2
887
Potassium, K
mg
366
10
26.193
714
Sodium, Na
mg
21
11
4.696
41
Zinc, Zn
mg
3.18
10
0.192
6.20
Copper, Cu
mg
0.777
10
0.067
1.515
Manganese, Mn
mg
2.260
10
0.244
4.407
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
4.2
1
8.2
Thiamin
mg
0.080
2
0.156
Riboflavin
mg
0.208
3
0.016
0.406
Niacin
mg
1.286
5
0.438
2.508
Pantothenic acid
mg
1.047
2
2.042
Vitamin B-6
mg
0.223
2
0.435
Folate, total
mcg
49
2
96
Folic acid
mcg
0
0
0
Folate, food
mcg
49
2
96
Folate, DFE
mcg_DFE
49
0
96
Vitamin B-12
mcg
0.00
0
0.00
Vitamin B-12, added
mcg
0.00
0
0.00
Vitamin A, IU
IU
0
0
0
Vitamin A, RAE
mcg_RAE
0
0
0
Retinol
mcg
0
0
0
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated
g
1.662
0
3.241
14:0
g
0.011
7
0.021
16:0
g
1.284
7
2.504
18:0
g
0.220
7
0.429
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated
g
1.433
0
2.794
18:1 undifferentiated
g
1.433
7
2.794
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
g
2.891
0
5.637
18:2 undifferentiated
g
2.834
7
5.526
18:3 undifferentiated
g
0.057
7
0.111
Cholesterol
mg
0
0
0
Phytosterols
mg
24
1
47
Amino acids
Tryptophan
g
0.181
10
0.353
Threonine
g
0.558
38
1.088
Isoleucine
g
0.582
38
1.135
Leucine
g
0.879
38
1.714
Lysine
g
0.747
38
1.457
Methionine
g
0.226
32
0.441
Cystine
g
0.191
28
0.372
Phenylalanine
g
0.542
32
1.057
Tyrosine
g
0.329
32
0.642
Valine
g
0.679
38
1.324
Arginine
g
1.060
30
2.067
Histidine
g
0.389
32
0.759
Alanine
g
0.799
30
1.558
Aspartic acid
g
1.261
30
2.459
Glutamic acid
g
2.259
30
4.405
Glycine
g
1.636
32
3.190
Proline
g
0.698
28
1.361
Serine
g
1.148
32
2.239
Other
Alcohol, ethyl
g
0.0
0
0.0
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19 (2006)

Nutritional Comparison to Grains

The following table, sourced from Wikipedia, compares the nutritional analysis of Amaranth to other grains:

Synopsis[4] ~ composition:Amaranth[11]Wheat[12]Rice[13]Sweetcorn[14]Potato[15]
Component (per 100g portion)AmountAmountAmountAmountAmount
water (g)1111127682
energy (kJ)155415061527360288
energy (kCal)3713603658669
protein (g)1423731.7
fat (g)710110.1
carbohydrates (g)6552791916
fiber (g)713132.4
sugars (g)1.7<0.1>0.131.2
iron (mg)7.66.30.80.50.5
manganese (mg)3.413.31.10.20.1
calcium (mg)159392829
magnesium (mg)248239253721
phosphorus (mg)5578421158962
potassium (mg)508892115270407
zinc (mg)2.912.31.10.50.3
pantothenic acid (mg)1.52.31.00.70.3
vitB6 (mg)0.61.30.20.10.2
folate (µg)8228184218
thiamin (mg)0.11.90.10.20.1
riboflavin (mg)0.20.5>0.10.1>0.1
niacin (mg)0.96.81.61.81.1

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Leave a Comment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa W July 5, 2017 at 06:53

Recently tried Nabisco Good Thins which contain Amaranth and became violently ill with severe abdominal cramps and vomiting within hours. I have no allergies to food, until now. I’ve eaten those crackers twice and twice been sick as hell.

Reply

2 Allergy Guy July 23, 2017 at 14:04

I would not necessarily assume this is an allergy; although it could be, it seems unlikely since people rarely have allergies to something they have never eaten/been exposed to before. Having said that, I can understand that you would not want to eat those crackers again! Was it more from the same box or when you tried the crackers again was it from a different batch? What did you put on the crackers?

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