Discover the whole grain goodness of amaranth, an ancient grain that was a staple food of the early Aztecs. Gluten-free and a source of complete protein, amaranth contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in most grains. It makes a delicious hot cereal or polenta, or you can add its pleasant texture and extra nutrition to baked goods or homemade granola. An excellent source of protein and iron, amaranth is especially well suited for gluten-free and vegan diets. It has an earthy, nutty flavor and can be added to bread to give a boost of nutrition and a crunchy texture. Try popped amaranth for unique breakfast cereal or to make the Mexican candy, Alegría. Amaranth can also be cooked as porridge, used to make polenta, or added to soups. While amaranth leaves are also edible, we’re obsessed with this grain—actually a seed—with a rich history dating back 8,000 years, when it was first cultivated in Mesoamerica. The ancient Aztecs relied on amaranth as a food staple and used it in religious rituals, earning it the names “super grain of the Aztecs” and “golden grain of the gods.”The amaranth plant is breathtaking, with conical seed heads bearing pink or purple flowers. If you like gardening, try planting a few amaranth seeds in your yard. Don’t plant too many, however, or you may see your garden become an amaranth crop.