Amaranth is not as well-known as other grains in this part of the world. In actual fact, amaranth is the seed of a herbaceous plant, but I will refer to it as a grain. It is an ancient Aztec grain and is grows abundantly in places like Mexico, Peru, Nepal, and the USA. Amaranth contains no gluten and is super high in protein providing over 4 grams of protein per ½ cup of cooked amaranth. It also contains high levels of the amino acids lysine and methionine which are often lacking in other grains, and it is high in vitamin C, E, iron, calcium, and other trace minerals such as silica, magnesium, and manganese. As a medicine, amaranth is soothing to dry, constipated, and inflamed conditions of the digestive tract. It is a great addition to other grains such as oats, or buckwheat. Its flavour is earthy and subtly sweet.
Here is one of my favourite breakfasts, especially yum on cool mornings ~ so try it when the seasons begin to shift and you need some warming foods to start the day. There are a lot of ingredients, so tailor to your taste and budget ~ I like to add a lot of different elements, first because I get so excited when I create meals and second because it looks so pretty, and I love to eat food that looks beautiful ~ like a piece of art on my plate. Oh and of course, the more nutritious ingredients, the more nutrient dense the meal becomes. Have fun trying this out and take your time to enjoy it!
Ingredients (serves 2)
½ cup of Amaranth
2-3 cups of filtered water
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup of either walnuts, almonds, pecans, or any nuts of your choice (chopped)
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
¼ tsp. cardamon powder
1 tbsp. grated ginger
Handful of organic dry cranberries or other such as raisins
Small handful Inca berries (optional)
Rind of ½ a lemon
½ cup of berries per bowl
Tbsp. hemp seeds (per plate)
Tbsp. ground flax seeds (per plate)
Unhulled tahini or almond butter
*Try it first without adding sweetener as the presence of the dry fruit and berries enough ~ if you need more try a tspn. of honey, maple syrup, or monk fruit extract to sweeten if needed (you may find the presence of the dry fruit and fresh berries make it sweet enough)
Fresh Mylk / Milk or yoghurt
1. Rinse the amaranth well and place in pot with the filtered water
2. begin to turn up the heat and whilst it is warming add the following: coconut, chopped nuts, spices, ginger, lemon rind and dry fruit
3. Bring to a boil then turn down to a mild simmer, cover pot with a lid and gently simmer for 30-minutes or until the amaranth is soft and has absorbed most of the water
4. When it feels ready, add in the fresh berries to warm them through (not boil)
5. In bowls, add the tahini or almond butter and the ground flax first, followed by porridge. Then sprinkle with the hemp seeds, a drizzle of sweetener if needed (perhaps try some without), and add some mylk/milk or yoghurt
ENJOY this dish in a cosy place with a nice warm cup of tea.
Play around with the recipe. You might like to add amaranth to your oatmeal porridge so you can get acquainted with its flavour slowly
Let me know if you enjoyed it and what you might have done differently ~ welcome our collective creativity YAY!