Its history goes back many centuries. For 8 thousand years, amaranth was one of the main crops of South America and Mexico. For many, it was known as “Aztec wheat”, “Inca bread.” Since that time, there have been many events related to the veneration of amaranth, its prohibition and gradual revival. Today in Mexico there is a national day of amaranth, and the attitude to this culture and its promotion can become an example for other countries.
MEXICO BECOMES A CENTER FOR POPULARIZING AMARANTH
This fall in Mexico, the First World Congress dedicated to the issues of propaganda of amaranth was held. 700 people from different states of Mexico and countries took part in it. It was about the promotion of amaranth as a strategic power, taking into account the historical and cultural characteristics of the development of the peoples of the world. Why was the event held in Mexico? In this country, the National Day of Amaranths has been established in order to recognize the cultural significance of this plant, its ecological, social, agricultural and food value, and the amaranth itself has been declared a strategic food for Mexico.
It should be noted that the majority of the participants in the Congress spoke about the importance of amaranth in human nutrition. So, experts, businessmen from Kenya emphasized that in their country amaranth is a strategic grain in areas with low incomes of the population. However, this amaranth gives the opportunity to grow small farmers who take up the cultivation of this crop and the production of food based on it. It was noted the great value of food on the basis of amaranth for children, because the plant has a large supply of useful substances necessary for development.
According to representatives of Chile, in their country, amaranth is becoming increasingly part of the public health strategy, especially in reducing and preventing the prevalence of overweight and obesity. Much attention is paid to the popularization of amaranth among young people. Amaranth is positioned as a healthy food, which has great nutritional and energy value.
Specialists from Japan stressed the importance of the study of nutrients that are contained in the grain of amaranth, and also shared their experience on how to amaranth should be promoted in different regions of Asia. Based on the results of research, they described how food on the basis of amaranth helps to improve the health of the population in rural and urban areas and helps to preserve youth longer.
Representatives of the Danish agricultural industry, relying on examples of their experience, pointed out the advantages of dual production, that is, growing amaranth and making products based on this culture. This approach is especially important in areas with insufficient food supply due to the low yields of traditional cereals.
They took part in the First World Congress devoted to the propaganda of amaranth, also representatives of the USA, India, other countries where this culture has been known for a long time, has gone through periods of prohibition and is being revived again. Emphasis was placed on the profitability of growing amaranth, the healing qualities of this crop, on the ability to provide the population with healthy and tasty food.
WHY IS IT RECOMMENDED TO INCLUDE AMARANT IN DAILY RATION?
Amaranth for the people of Mexico has always been very important: people considered it a sacred and basic diet. Today, the propaganda of amaranth and its processing products is based on the results of scientific research and practical application. Enter amaranth in the diet is recommended because of the properties of this plant and the advantages over other cultures.
In the grain of amaranth is concentrated 16-17% of proteins that have almost all the essential amino acids for the body.
Amaranth is a source of good fats, which in its composition contains about 7%.
All parts of the plant have a large amount of fiber, as well as minerals, among which calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus are released.
Amaranth is also a powerful source of vitamin B complex and phenolic compounds with antioxidant capacity.
The presence of squalene helps to improve the functioning of blood vessels, prevent cancer.
Given the properties of amaranth, it is included in the medical diet, and just in the diet to improve health and diversify the menu. Here, experts pay attention to the richness of the nutrients of this culture, which are especially useful to vegetarians and to all who need vegetable proteins.
Amaranth antioxidants have proven their ability to neutralize the oxygen-free radicals, so the consumption of amaranth helps protect the body’s cells from harmful effects. It is also proved that the amino acid lysine helps to improve brain function.
Due to the content in the amaranth of good fats, fiber and phytosterols, the products based on it help prevent cardiovascular diseases and the development of atherosclerosis, regulate blood pressure.
In addition, amaranth proved to be a good resource for increasing the satiety of the diet. Amaranth protein works to quickly satisfy hunger and does not add calories to the body, which is very important for those who are struggling with excess weight. It is also important that amaranth, its products do not contain gluten.
SEVERAL TIPS FROM MEXICAN COURSES
With the help of amaranth, you can diversify your diet and make it more healthy. Therefore, the desire to use the benefits of amaranth is fully justified. So, amaranth grain can be boiled to prepare salads, stews or other dishes with it – both cold and hot, salty or sweet.
We can use amaranth directly above the fire to get popcorn, and thus get a snack with lots of protein and fiber.
Amaranth seeds can be used as such to add a crunchy texture to the breading or salad. You can also make cereal bars with amaranth grains or crispy cookies if you mix chocolate with amaranth only.
RECIPES AS A BONUS
Amaranth roll and chia
• 1 1/2 kg of puff preferably corn dough.
For the sauce:
• 3 glasses of water;
• 2 cups roasted amaranth seeds;
• 1/2 chia seed;
• 1/2 cup broken peanuts;
• 1 peeled and chopped onion;
• 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped).
24 sheets amaranth
Black beans, chopped with salt and chopped green chili
Spread amaranth leaves on a damp cloth with a smooth dark green side down, put a layer of cooked dough on them, sprinkle with amaranth grain and press gently. In this form, the dough with amaranth should be left for 1 hour. Then spread on the dough layer of beans with chili. With the help of a cloth napkin we roll, continuing to press so that there is no void or air.
Once the roll is made, we wrap it with aluminum foil so that it closes well. We shift the roll on a baking sheet and place in the oven and cook on medium heat for 40 minutes. Ready roll get foil, cut into thick slices and combine with sauce.
Tuna with honey and amaranth
• 3 slices of tuna;
• 1 tablespoon honey;
• fried amaranth.
Cook the tuna slices by frying them. Then cooked portions of tuna dunk in honey, roll them down in the seeds of amaranth and spread on a dish. In restaurants, this dish is served, a little watering tuna tequila, thereby giving it an original shade.
Atole of San Diego
It is often served with Tamale, the most popular dish in Mexico, made from corn dough stuffed with meat and spicy sauce. The highlight of the dish is that it is wrapped in corn cob leaves (only the filling is edible!) The drink itself is also prepared in order to recover faster from an illness.
• 1 liter of milk;
• 3 cups roasted amaranth seeds;
• 1 cup peeled walnuts;
• 1 cup melted honey;
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder.
It is necessary to grind all the ingredients, put them in a high heat-resistant pot, put on a slow fire and, stirring, bring to a boil. After that, the atoli is removed from the heat and poured into cups.