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    Amaranth: How To Consume This Desi Superfood The Right Way

    Amaranth is a pseudo-cereal cultivated across Asia, Africa and Caribbean regions. It can be either used as flour or in the form of cereal. According to Livestrong, Amaranth is much more calorically dense and has higher protein levels than Quinoa. It is necessary to look at the below chart of Amaranth to understand its nutritional values.

    Nutritional Value Of Amaranth

    Amaranth (100g)Nutritional Content
    Energy 365 kcals
    Carbohydrates60 gms
    Protein12 gms
    Fats5 gms
    Fibre7 gms
    Other Nutrients
    Calcium 162 mg
    Iron6 mg
    Folate80 mcg
    Magnesium240 mg
    Phosphorous550 mg
    Potassium495 mg

    As you can see from the above table, Amaranth is a good source of energy, protein, fibre as well as other micronutrients. This is what makes it a superfood. Additionally, Amaranth is also a good source of Vitamin A, B vitamins, choline, betaine and selenium.

    Benefits Of Amaranth

    Now that you know the nutritional values of Amaranth, let us look into some health benefits of Amaranth

    1. Amaranth Is A Source Of Antioxidants

    Amaranth is a good source of antioxidants that help in neutralizing free radicals. Some antioxidants present in Amaranth include gallic acid and vanillic acid which are shown to have anti-cancer and cardio-protective properties.

    2. Anti-inflammatory Properties

    Amaranth helps in the reduction of inflammation associated with any trauma, injury or diseases like Diabetes, Heart diseases and Obesity. Amaranth was also known to reduce inflammatory markers associated with inflammation.

    3. Aids In Weight Management

    Amaranth is rich in both fibre and protein which helps in promoting satiety thus helping in weight loss. Amaranth is also slowly digested, leading to a feeling of fullness.

    4. An Alternative For Gluten Allergies!

    People with celiac disease or gluten allergy are sensitive to wheat and wheat products. Amaranth flour can be a healthier as well as tastier alternative for such people. Amaranth is also easy to prepare and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.

    5. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

    Amaranth lowers LDL levels whilst maintaining HDL levels. This can help reduce the risks of strokes and heart diseases.

    Nutritious Amaranth Recipes

    Now that you know the benefits of Amaranth, let us look at some recipes that incorporate Amaranth which you could include in your diet.

    1. Amaranth Cutlets

    This delicious tikkis can be a great substitute for those oily and processed foods; plus a great way to make your kids happy.

    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 426 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 35 gms

    Protein: 15 gms

    Fat: 16 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of Amaranth seeds
    • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    • 1 tbsp chilli powder
    • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
    • 2 tsp garam masala
    • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
    • Bread crumbs or Amaranth flour for coating
    • Oil as required
    • Salt as required

    Method:

    1. Heat a bowl of water and add the Amaranth seeds to it. Mix well. Remove from heat after it boils and keep it aside.
    2. In a pan, heat oil and saute onions. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few minutes.
    3. Now add turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala. Mix well and keep it aside.
    4. Add this mixture to the Amaranth seeds. Let it cool for a while. Coat using breadcrumbs/ Amaranth flour. Mix well and make a batter. Start making tikkis out of the batter.
    5. Shallow fry in a pan using as little as 1 tbsp of oil.

    2. Amaranth & Carrot Cookies

    This delicious protein-rich recipe can be consumed during tea-time or even as a mid-morning snack to curb hunger cravings.

    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 175 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 28 gms

    Protein: 3 gms

    Fat: 7 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of Amaranth flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp cardamom
    • 8 tbsp powdered sugar
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 1 cup grated carrots
    • ¼ cup walnuts
    • ¼ cup raisins
    • ¼ cup maple syrup

    Method:

    1. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees.
    2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and keep it aside.
    3. In another bowl combine sugar, butter and maple syrup. Keep it aside.
    4. Whisk properly and add the grated carrots as well.
    5. Now mix both the bowls (Step 2 and 3) together and whisk well. Add the walnuts and raisins as well. Make a batter.
    6. Use your hands to flatten the cookies.
    7. Place the cookies over in a baking tray or silpat and bake for 20 mins. Enjoy!

    3. Amaranth Paratha

    Amaranth paratha can be a perfect substitute for wheat especially for the ones with gluten sensitivity.

    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 165 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 35 gms

    Protein: 3 gms

    Fat: 2 gms

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cup amaranth flour
    • 1 cup potatoes (boiled and mashed)
    • ¼ cup coriander leaves (finely chopped)
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil for frying

    Method:

    1. In a bowl, combine Amaranth flour, potatoes, coriander leaves and salt. Roll it into a dough using water.
    2. Divide the dough into portions (according to your requirement) and flatten it using a rolling pin.
    3. Heat a tava and cook the paratha. Flip over and cook the other side as well.

    4. Amaranth Halwa

    This is a tasty dish that can be especially useful during fasting. It is nutritionally as well as calorically dense.

    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy: 350 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 35 gms

    Protein: 6 gms

    Fat: 20 gms

    Calcium: 160 mg

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup amaranth flour
    • 1 ½ cup milk
    • 1 tsp cardamom powder
    • 2 tbsp ghee
    • 1 tbsp chopped almonds
    • Sugar as required

    Method:

    1. Heat milk and keep it aside.
    2. In a pan, heat ghee. Add amaranth flour. Roast the flour till it becomes brownish in colour.
    3. After the flour gets roasted, add sugar and milk. Continue to cook till the sugar melts and the milk dries up leaving behind the halwa.
    4. Add cardamom powder and nuts. Enjoy! 

    5. Amaranth Kadhi

    This is yet another recipe that can be consumed during fasting periods and can instantly energize you!

    Cooking time: 15-20 mins

    Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

    Energy:  272 kcals

    Carbohydrates: 35 gms

    Protein: 7 gms

    Fat: 11 gms

    Calcium: 185 mg

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup amaranth flour
    • 1 cup curd
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
    • 1 tsp ghee
    • Water as required
    • Salt as required
    • 1 tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp ginger (grated)

    Method:

    1. In a bowl, add amaranth flour and curd. Mix properly to get rid of the lumps. You can water to get rid of the lumps as well.
    2. In a pan, add ghee. Add jeera and let it crackle. Add ginger and chilli powder as well.
    3. Now add the flour, water and curd mixture. Stir properly and leave it to boil.
    4. Remove from the stove once it boils and serve hot.

    Key Takeaways

    1. Amaranth is a good alternative for people suffering from gluten sensitivity plus it is also protein-rich.
    2. If you want your dishes to have the consistency of porridge while cooking amaranth, you can use more water (1:3 ratio can be amaranth to water ratio).
    3. You can also use amaranth seeds and cook them like corn (popping in high heat). Once it pops you can remove it from the gas.
    4. Amaranth can be also added to baked foods like cakes for better texture.
    5. Amaranth can also be used to make protein bars as it is high in protein content.
    6. Soaking Amaranth overnight also helps preserve its nutritional value.

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