The alternative to grains


In addition to the ancient grain varieties such as emmer, einkorn, pure spelt, etc., there are also so-called pseudocereals. In botanical terms, grains are sweet grasses, which are cultivated for their edible parts – the grains. Pseudocereals, on the other hand, are annual plants whose seeds can be used whole or ground in baked goods. But they do not belong to the grain family and they contain no gluten, for example. They can therefore only be used to bake bread. 

However, pseudocereals such as amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat have taste and health advantages that make them popular in the kitchen. The absence of gluten has its advantages. So dishes with pseudocereals are mainly suitable for people with coeliac disease. 


•    belongs to the foxtail family


•    The name is derived from the Greek "Amaranthus", meaning "immortal" or "non-withering"


•    one of humanity's oldest crops, with more than 60 species


•    Incas and Aztecs worshiped the plant, which they believed helped to restore the life forces of the old and sick


•    high content of protein and minerals, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and unsaturated fatty acids 


•    is served cooked as a side dish or ground in cake dough, grain bars or bread mixes

•    is one of the Polygonaceae (knotweed family, related to rhubarb and sorrel)


•    originated in Central Asia


•    Today's main growing areas are China, Russia and the Ukraine, but is also cultivated in Luneburg Heath and the Eifel region


•    its brown, triangular fruits are very similar to beechnuts


•    grows on relatively barren heath and moorland


•    contains significantly more lysine and tryptophan, which are vital protein building blocks, than grains

•    belongs to the goosefoot family


•    Originated around 6,000 years ago in South America 


•    The main growing areas are in the Andes, 4,000 metres above sea level – regions where grains such as wheat or rye no longer grow


•    known in Europe since the 20th century 


•    the seeds are used in soups and casseroles, or as an accompaniment to meats 


•    contains a high proportion of magnesium, iron, minerals, trace elements and high-quality vegetable protein