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Josh Aisen

Amaranth, an everyday superfood of the Aztecs

Navy officer Josh Aisen talks with Rob about the ancient grain amaranth.  It is not a grass, but has seeds that may also be ground into flour and otherwise used as a cereal. Josh thought of developing amaranth into a nutritious snack food, “superfood bar,” while far out on the ocean onboard the USS George Washington because he was concerned to make a healthy snack for sailors who had difficulty managing their weight, and most snacks available were high in calories and low in nutritional content. As the father of three children, he also wished to develop a high-nutrient, low-calorie bar made of amaranth for himself and his family.

Amaranth has been cultivated for 8,000 years. It was the grain of choice for the Aztecs, making up about a third of their diet. Amaranth contains more energy per portion than wheat and rice, more than twice the iron of wheat, nearly six times the calcium and twice the manganese.  It took multiple attempts before the taste completely won over his harshest critics, his kids, aged ten, eight and two. Rob explains why apricot and ginger is his favorite of the four amaranth bar flavors. Everyone should learn about this amazing food. Josh recommends trying the variety pack available at www.achievesuperfoods.com.