In ancient times, the Aztecs venerated amaranth as a plant with supernatural powers. What exactly those were, no one knows today. This is mostly the fault of the conquistadors, who put an end not only to the special rituals that the Aztecs conducted with amaranth but also tried to wipe out the crop itself. In some remote regions of Mexico and the Andes, they continued cultivating it.
Today, amaranth is a popular food in numerous nations. Recipes with amaranth perhaps number more than any other plant recipes. In Mexico for example, they make popcorn from it, which are then mixed with a sugar syrup and turned into a sweet temptation called "alegria" - "happiness".
Ground and baked, amaranth seeds are added to the traditional drink called "atole". In Peru, an amaranth beverage is called "chicha", being very similar to beer. In both countries, the boiled or fried leaves of the plant are a common food.
Amaranth is also eaten in the East. In India for example, it is present in almost all pastries. In Nepal, they make chapati and all kinds of flour from it.
Preparing amaranth is exceptionally easy. Soak the seeds in water for 10-12 hours. This way, its nutritional profile will be perfectly retained and it turns into an excellent addition to muesli.
Popcorn from amaranth is made in the same way as that from corn. Plus, the crop is recommended for feeding babies - you can add dried fruits, honey, nuts and others to it.
Often, amaranth is used to make garnishes. To do this, cook it similarly to rice - it goes well in combination with all products of your choice. For example, one part brown rice and one part quinoa can be boiled with half a part of amaranth and six parts water.
Pudding with Amaranth
Ingredients: 2 cups boiled amaranth, 1 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup finely sliced almonds, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, the juice of half a lemon, grated rind of 1 lemon, 1 pinch of cinnamon.
Preparation: Pour all of the ingredients in a deep pan. Let them come to a boil with a lid on. Once they do, turn down the heat and saute for 15 min.
Pour the prepared putting in dessert bowls. Decorate with grapes or strawberries. Cool it in the refrigerator and serve.