The Whole Grains Council has chosen Amaranth as May’s “Whole Grain of the Month!” A-ma-what, you ask? Hopefully some of these facts will help you get to know this feisty little grain a bit better:
- Amaranth is the common name for more than 60 diﬀerent species of amaranthus, which are usually very tall plants with broad green leaves and impressively bright purple, red, or gold ﬂowers.
- It isn’t a true cereal grain in the sense that oats, wheat, sorghum, and most other grains are. So why are these interlopers almost always included in the whole grain roundup? Because their overall nutrient proﬁle is similar to that of cereals, and more importantly, pseudocereals like amaranth have been utilized in traditional diets spanning thousands of years in much the same way as the “true cereals” have been.
- It was a major food crop of the Aztecs, and some have estimated amaranth was domesticated between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago.
Dying to know more? Than pop on over to the Whole Grains Council “Whole Grain of the Month” page to get the low-down on Amaranth, and don’t forget to watch the video below to see how…rambunctious this grain can get! — Kara and the Whole Grains Council Staﬀ