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Amaranth – the ancient superfood

Amaranth, a cereal cultivated primarily in South America, has also a long history in India and Europe. It is possible to eat the whole plant. Starch is the main component of the grain, and both the leaves, as well as the grains are very rich on protein. Amaranth proteins have a well-balanced amino acid composition and very high bioavailability, which means that our human organism absorbs the proteins easily, as long as you make sure it is not over cooked! It is also an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamins (C, B and carotenoids) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, copper zinc and manganese).

The amaranth has also tremendous medicinal properties. Ayurveda uses the plant as a diuretic, in coughs and colds as well as urinary tract infections. It is also used for gastric problems. You can use it as a remedy for scorpion stings, to remove kidney stones, and it is used in lotions for skin problems. A true superfood which we  often enjoy at Purple Valley.  Oh, it is gluten free! The Amaranth flour can be used for pancakes and breads!


Amaranth and beetroot salad

Amaranth in Europe

At present residing in the UK, I got positively surprised when I discovered that it is possible to grow amaranth here as well. Doing some research into this super nutritious plant I discovered that amaranth was grown in Europe as early as 1600. In Europe it was grown as an ornamental plant, while in Asia and Africa it was grown as a vegetable and grain. In the UK the plant is called Love lies bleeding. I guess the name must be connected to the wonderful red colour of the plant and the flowers. The plant is quite sensitive to drought and during dry periods it is essential to water well. Amaranth will develop a beautiful red flower filled with seeds! The leaves I usually steam for a few seconds or cook like spinach, it is also yummy to have the leaves in salad. Amazingly tasty! I have found this great website with more information on how to grow amaranth.

Here is a link for Amaranth seeds.

Love lies bleeding or amaranth plant in UK

Reference links : 

The Guardian 

Growing Guides UK

Garden Organic

Amaranth – a new millennium crop of nutraceutical values

Recipe : Amaranth and carrot dip

Mamiko our star chef has shared a very popular recipe of a salad sauce. We hope you enjoy it!


  • 1/3 cup amaranth seed
  • ½ cup water
  • 60g carrot or beetroot
  • 2 TBSP vinegar
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wash the amaranth seeds well

Cut carrot/beetroot in small 1 cm pieces

Cook amaranth seed and carrot/beetroot with 1/2 cup water. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on low heat for 15 min.

Take out the carrot/beetroot and put it in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend it until smooth.

Mix carrots paste and amaranth in a bowl.

Enjoy as a side dish, with veg burgers, a salad or on a cracker!

To enjoy our nutritious food  Book a Yoga Retreat!

About the Author

Mamiko, Chef, Purple Valley

Mamiko is the Purple Valley yoga retreat chef, and an Ashtanga yoga practitioner. During the seasons at Purple Valley she creates nutritious meals for the Purple Valley yogis. In the “off” season she caters for retreats and yoga studios. She has also been involved in starting up successful restaurants in Indonesia. Our guests love Mamiko and the passion with which she creates her meals.

Cooking healthy food and practicing ashtanga yoga are her passions.

Mamiko used to work in Kushi Macrobiotics institute in Japan as the assistant teacher and a certificated nutritionist.

She continued her quest for cooking knowledge by assisting Sayuri (a yogi and former PV chef) who now is an established raw food chef, well know among yogis and raw food enthusiasts. Working with Sayuri gave Mamiko greater insight in how to cook for yogis. She now combines the essence of Macrobiotic food and Raw food in the PV kitchen, while sharing her knowledge with our Indian staff. Today, thanks to Mamikos passion for sharing, the Indian kitchen staff have developed unique skills in macrobiotic, Japanese, vegetarian and raw food cooking.

“My mission is to make yogis from all around the world happy and healthy with my food.” Says Mamiko, and she certainly does this very well.

Mamiko will be sharing some of her most popular creation here at our PV blog. In case you have a particular request, send us an  email on

You can reach Mamikos through her  Instagram account @mamekoeda and do visit her beautiful website :