If you pick up a packet of Quinoa grains and amaranth grains they look so similar that you wonder if they are in fact the same product.
They belong to the same plant family and share many of the health benefits. Both these grains have almost identical nutritional profiles. The first noticeable difference is that the amaranth grains are quite a lot smaller than the quinoa grains. This means that for certain types of recipes the amaranth can be a better option. It is particlularly good for soups and casseroles where the seeds act as a thickening agent of cooked for more then 15 minutes. The amaranth still have the familiar tail that quinoa has but is less crunchy when cooked for a long time.
Amaranth can also be used for milk puddings such as rice pudding but you need slightly less liquid to obtain a creamy consistency.
Quinoa is better for inclusion in salads and stir fry dishes. It retains its shape and crunchy flavour which is so popular. The only problem here in the UK is getting hold of some amaranth to cook with. It is availailable only from specialist health food shops or online. Non of the major supermarkets stock it at the moment. They have only just started stocking quinoa. You can also order it online.