Yay! Post One of the Lowdown on Grains series!
And I’m starting off with one of my favorite recent discoveries: Amaranth!
I first tasted amaranth about a year ago, and fell in love. It has such a distinct flavor that really sets it apart from other whole grains. It has the texture of smaller quinoa or tiny couscous, or it can be popped, but is far less subtle than its counterparts. It tastes nutty and robust, which I think is really well complimented when integrated with sweet flavors, though it does well in salads and savory dishes.
And it has a stellar nutritional report card:
That protein! That iron! That magnesium! Not to mention the manganese, which to be honest I didn’t know anything about until today (it’s essential for bone health). And all that fiber is a testament to the importance of complete (whole) grains, rather than processed.
It’s also on the lower end of the price range of many organic whole grains- usually between $2 and $5 for a decent size bag or box.
So are you ready to give it a shot?
That’s the basic way. So now that you know how easy it is, get creative! And if you’re looking for some inspiration to ease you in, try this breakfast porridge- it’s a super flavorful (and in many ways, more nutritious) alternative to a bowl of oatmeal. Plus, toasting the amaranth slightly before cooking it gives it even more flavor. Shake it up!
Cinnamon Raisin Amaranth Porridge
1/2 cup uncooked amaranth
1.5 cups + 1 cup almond milk, divided
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
handful or raisins
In a pot spritzed with a bit of cooking oil over medium heat, pour in the amaranth. It should begin toasting almost immediately, so keep the grains moving so nothing burns. As soon as a couple of the grains start to pop, add the first 1.5 cups almond milk and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Add the remaining 1 cup of almond milk plus the rest of the ingredients and let cook for another 10 minutes or so until a thick, porridge-y consistency (or your own desired consistency).
Makes 2 servings.
Stay tuned for more on this series!