The tiny, gold, black-flecked seeds of the amaranth plant are an ancient food. At one time sacred to the Aztecs, amaranth has been cultivated for millennia in Central and South America. It’s very high in protein, calcium, and fiber.
Amaranth is grassy, herbal, and slightly peppery. The seeds have a pleasing crunchy texture. Pair amaranth with anything starchy, spicy, or sweet, like corn, black beans, chiles, honey, apples, and chocolate.
Amaranth can be found at many supermarkets, in health food stores, and online.
Amaranth seeds are typically cooked into a thick, glutinous porridge, which can be an acquired taste. The whole seeds can also be popped like popcorn. Amaranth is more versatile when it’s ground into flour. It’s gluten-free and delicious used in baked goods like pancakes, cookies, and quick breads.
Whole seeds can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot for up to nine months. Amaranth flour can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three months, or frozen for up to six months.