Amaranth grains are toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses, or chocolate to make a treat called alegría, meaning “joy” in Spanish.
Studies have shown that, in the plant kingdom, amaranth proteins are among the most similar to animal proteins.
Amaranth is rich in antioxidants:
- Gallic acid – has anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic properties, a compound known to have therapeutic activities in gastrointestinal, neuropsychological, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders;
- Vanillic acid – a compound known to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and neuroprotective effects.
Because of amaranth’s importance as a symbol of indigenous culture, its palatability, ease of cooking, and a protein that is particularly well-suited to human nutritional needs, interest in amaranth seeds revived in the 1970s. It was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties and is now commercially cultivated, it is a popular snack in Mexico, sometimes mixed with chocolate or puffed rice, and its use has spread to Europe and parts of North America.
Amaranth Avinsh/laddu or laddoo, is a sphere-shaped sweet originating from the Indian subcontinent (easily available in Indian grocery stores):
(Ref. webmd.com, en.m.wikipedia.org, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and healthline.com)