Gluten-Free For Celiacs and the Gluten-Intolerant: Amaranth
By: Jody Smith
problems with gluten? Living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?
Mourning the loss of your favorite foods? Toss the widow's weeds and go after
is one such item to add to your refurbished grocery list. Amaranth is
not well-known but it should be. It's already being used in baked goods
like breads and cakes. It's an unsung hero that anyone who has celiac disease
or gluten intolerance needs to hear about.
is not a grain, it's a seed belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. Those
with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can use it as a substitute
for glutenous grains. Unlike many grains, amaranth has a high concentration of
the amino acid lysine.
is considered a complete protein because of its Lysine content, along with the
other essential amino acids. The protein content hovers around 13 to 14
has the most protein of any gluten-free grain, on par with the amount of
protein in milk. It also contains more protein than wheat.
at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama obtained results
that indicated Amaranth's protein was comparable to animal products like cheese.
It’s protein was also considered to be superior to most vegetable-source
is also high in calcium, iron, fiber, fatty acids, magnesium,
phosphorus and potassium. Grains don't contain vitamin C but Amaranth does.
Amaranth stands tall. But despite its stellar attributes, it shouldn't stand
alone. This is because it is very absorbent when it's used without other
flours. Bakery items made just with amaranth will produce dense, heavy
concoctions that resemble paperweights and doorstops more than bread or
means you'll need to try your hand at experimentation with other gluten-free
flours until you find a combination that is lighter and more edible. Growing Amaranth
is somewhat touchier than some other grains and flour crops due to
susceptibility to many diseases and pests.
leaves taste rather like spinach. You can put the leaves in salads, or cook
them in stews and other dishes.
masquerade as a grain, amaranth can be used in breads, cereals, crackers,
muffins and pancakes. Or you can boil it in water for 15 to 20 minutes,
then drain and rinse it. After it's cooked and given time to dry, it can be
used in such diverse recipes as salads, soups and cookie batter.
Jody Smith is a
freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.
To Use Amaranth in Your Gluten-Free Recipes
May Grain of the Month
Amaranth in Gluten-Free Recipes?
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