Amaranth is that teeny tiny Aztec ‘pseudograin’ (it looks like a grain but is actually a seed) that you often end up avoiding because IT STICKS TO THE PAN or turns out like a mush (and no-one likes mush). But it’s a complete protein (contains the amino acid Lysine which most grains are short on), is gluten-free, high in iron & calcium AND a great source of fibre. So what’s a girl to do to get this powerhouse of a seed into her diet? Eat it as porridge, of course! It's also delicious as polenta and can be added to soups. Whichever way you decide to eat it, here is the basic recipe:
1 cup soaked & rinsed amaranth (soak overnight)
2 ½ cups water (if you don’t soak the amaranth, use 3 cups water)
Bring the water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, then add the amaranth and simmer without a lid on minimum heat for 18-23 minutes, depending on your stove.
After about 10 minutes start stirring very now and then. At around the 15 minute mark you really need to stir constantly, otherwise it will stick and bubble like larva. I find that using a bigger pan than I would probably need, keeps the bubbling amaranth from ending up on the stove.
When you have a 'polenta-like' consistency, turn off the heat. Now you can add some to soup, or serve with a mushroom sauce, or eat it for breakfast with some fruit and plant milk.
Tip: The amaranth seeds have a tendency to stick to the edge of the pan and remain uncooked. So make sure that there are no grains stuck to the side of the pan as these uncooked devils will eventually end up on your spoon or fork and there is nothing worse than the feeling of biting down on a couple of grains of sand when you think you're eating something soft!
To avoid this, when you stir just push any excess amaranth down from the edges of the pan and make sure that none have stuck to the spoon. Soaking the amaranth softens the seeds considerably, reducing this eventual problem.
Also, use a long-handled wooden spoon to save your hands from any eventual 'larva bubbles'. I know, it sounds like a lot of hard work, but it really isn’t and it’s so worth it!
1 cup cooked amaranth: 116 mg calcium 5.17 mg iron 160 mg magnesium
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