Healthy Corner by Betty Dickinson

Dear Betty,

Is amaranth more healthy for us than other grains?


Amaranth is not really a cereal grain, but the tiny seed of a leafy plant and a member of the pigweed family. As long as 7,000 years ago it was cultivated in Central America despite the attempts of Cortez to eradicate it, it still survived. It is commonly eaten in Mexico, and the Himalayas, where it us quite popular. Amaranth is beginning to be cultivated more widely in United States, mostly because of its hardy nature and nutritional value. It is highest in protein of all the grains, and especially high in lysine. Lysine is the amino acid many grains lack, and it presence improves the quality of the protein for human consumption.

Health columnist Betty Dickinson.

Health columnist Betty Dickinson.


Amaranth has a nutty and mild favor, with a slight hint of grass. The flour of amaranth is apt to get bitter if not used right away. Because of its high oil content, store amaranth and amaranth flour in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it from going rancid. Amaranth flour has no gluten, but can be paired with other ingredients to help it behave like all-purpose flour. It is often used in gluten-free baked goods and pasta.


If you decide to use amaranth maybe you can experiment and add it in small amounts to your recipes for the appropriate amount of flour in your recipe, to enjoy its benefits.



Spinach Balls

2  10 ounce packages of frozen (thawed) or fresh spinach

3 cups organic grain bread, broken up fine

1 large onion (chopped)

6 well beaten eggs

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Shape into balls and freeze for later use when needed

Or, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

These are a  nutritious appetizer and treat

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