The popularity of amaranth is increasing in almost all countries. The level of this growth in each region may differ from others, but one has to admit that people increasingly pay attention to this culture. It finds application in various industries, and an increase in the production of amaranth is predicted.
Why is amaranth in the spotlight
Amaranth is recognized as a powerful source of squalene, which saturates the body with oxygen, an ideal protein of plant origin, raw material for milk, which does not contain lactose, a useful product that does not contain gluten. The oil extracted from amaranth grain is highly valued on the world market, and its production volumes increase every year, and by 2021, according to analysts, this growth will be about 9.9%.
The demand for amaranth and its products is due to objective factors, among which health benefits can be called the main ones. According to the results of research, amaranth is characterized by:
- high nutritional value;
- high content of squalene;
- a large amount of omega fatty acids;
- vitamin complex.
It has been established that amaranth and oil from its grain contain all the micro and macro elements necessary for the body.
Squalene, known for its numerous medicinal benefits, is one of the most important components, including cell rejuvenation, antioxidant properties and strengthening the immune system. The unique properties of amaranth, according to research results, are:
- stimulation of growth and tissue repair;
- ability to reduce inflammation;
- prevent chronic diseases;
- increase bone density;
- reduce pressure and strengthen blood vessels;
- slow the growth of cancer cells.
These and other health benefits stimulate the growth of the amaranth market.
Some aspects of growing amaranth in different countries
Mexico is considered to be the country where amaranth is the most widely spread and has become one of the main grain crops, and producers have some experience in growing this crop. So, the soil for sowing amaranth should be well prepared, crumbly, warm and slightly damp. Fertilizing it is also necessary, and here it is recommended to apply methods and means, as for corn. According to Mexican farmers, they use such fertilizer for amaranth:
- nitrogen – 90-100 kg / ha (this amount is divided into 2 times: before sowing, and then during the intensive growth of the culture);
- phosphorus – from 60 to 70 kg / ha;
- potassium – 60 – 70 kg / ha.
Sowing amaranth is best done when the soil warms up at a depth of 5 cm to a temperature of 10-13 ° C, and such conditions are formed, as a rule, in the second decade of May. You can sow manually or with the help of a seed drill. If a planter is used, amaranth seeds are recommended to be mixed with sand or semolina in order to ensure even placement of seeds and maintain the seeding rate. The seeding rate can range from 0.5 to 5.0 kg / ha. It is possible to sow with row-spacings of 20-30 cm or 50-70 cm, to a depth of 1 cm. During the growing season, it is important to carry out manual or mechanical weeding, and due to this an optimum standing density is achieved.
It is possible to harvest amaranth after the onset of the first frost in October or November, because under conditions of low temperatures (below -5 ° C) the plants start to dry out. Mexicans often use conventional combine harvesters when harvesting. The yield for traditional varieties grown in Mexico is 0.8-1.5 tons of seeds / ha, and in Ethiopia, for example, up to 6 tons of seeds / ha. The price of amaranth seeds obtained is usually at least 3 times higher than the purchase price of wheat.
In Mexico, amaranth is grown more for nutrition, as well as for prevention and treatment. In Poland, much attention was paid to this culture after the publication of research results by scientists at the Technical University in Kosice. Thus, it was found, in particular, that amaranth has the ability to adapt to environmental conditions and to grow and develop normally even in soils heavily polluted with heavy metals. Heavy metals and nitrates accumulate in the amaranth root system, but it is not used in industry.
In addition, the results of experiments that were conducted by researchers in different countries show that most types of amaranth can be used as a raw material for the production of biofuels. For this, amaranth harvest is harvested using a combine used for flax harvesting. The collected plants are dried, pressed into cubes or briquettes, which can then be used as a biofuel. The energy intensity of amaranth is 14 MJ / kg with a humidity of 17%.
Amaranth is actively grown and its products are also widely used in India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, USA, Germany and other countries. The medicinal properties of this culture are recognized as official medicine, and dishes prepared on the basis of amaranth are recommended to be introduced into the diet to increase immunity, to recuperate after an illness.
Amaranth products on the world market and their use in practice
Today in the world market you can see a lot of products from amaranth. Among them are flour, soups and roasted seeds, as well as butter. Amaranth oil is used as an additive to yogurt, kefir, ice cream, salads and desserts. In addition, the use of amaranth oil for the prevention of cardiovascular and oncological diseases, to strengthen the skeletal system is common.
Products from amaranth are increasingly included in the diet of people seeking to strengthen their health and caring for a full and healthy diet. Here are the recipes for the most common simple dishes with the addition of amaranth.
Amaranth and Leek Soup
- amaranth leaves or roasted seeds;
- vegetable broth;
- olive oil;
- pre-chopped green onions;
- salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste.
It is necessary to first boil the leaves of amaranth on low heat for 10 minutes in broth with vegetables, leek. Then they are lightly fried in olive oil, after which they are added to the boiling soup and boiled all together for a few more minutes. When ready, add spices and chopped green onions.
Amaranth with vegetables
- amaranth seeds;
- olive oil;
- spices: salt, pepper, thyme.
Amaranth seeds should be boiled for about 15 minutes. Then fry the vegetables in olive oil, add water and boil over low heat. After that, add the boiled seeds and boil again over low heat, add the spices, and continue to boil for 10 minutes.
Dessert with amaranth and nuts
- honey or corn syrup;
- butter or margarine;
- chopped walnuts or peanuts;
- amaranth seeds.
Honey / corn syrup, butter / margarine should be heated and mixed well, then add nuts and amaranth seeds. After that, everything should be mixed well again. The resulting mass is poured into a thin layer in a baking dish and cooled. The cooled sheets are cut into small pieces. We get a great and useful delicacy!