The final grain I am highlighting in my basic grains series is amaranth. If you are new to baking and cooking with alternative grains you may have never even heard of it.
Amaranth is one of my favorite grains for baking. I grind the whole grain to make fresh flour. Then I usually use it for about half of my flour mixture.
Not only is amaranth great as a flour, it can also be used as the whole grain. It cooks very similarly to oats and can be used as an oatmeal substitute.
Amaranth is also similar in texture to quinoa when it cooks. It can be used in place of quinoa in your favorite recipes. The grains are small and have a little bite to them. They remind me of really tiny grains of rice.
Serve amaranth as a breakfast porridge, a warm side cooked in broth, in place of noodles or even in a cold salad. Warm it with milk and maple syrup for a rice pudding type dessert.
Like other grains Amaranth must be soaked for 24 hours to eliminate most of the phytic acid content. Then it cooks quickly for easy use in your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
If you are like me and don’t tolerate grains in their whole state very well be sure to try a small amount of amaranth first to see if your body handles it. I just assumed I’d do well with whole grain amaranth since I use the flour with no problems all the time. But that was not the case.
If you are looking for more variety in your diet or need another gluten free alternative give amaranth a try.
- 1 cup whole amaranth
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, whey, kefir or yogurt
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups water or broth
- Combine the amaranth, warm water and lemon juice.
- Let sit for 7-24 hours (24 is best)
- Pour the soaked amaranth in a medium saucepan.
- Add one cup of water or broth.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is absorbed/the grain is cooked - about 10 minutes.
- Add extra liquid if necessary.
- This can be served as a porridge (like oats) with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cinnamon, butter, coconut oil, milk, yogurt, fruit, nuts and/or flax seeds.
- This can be a savory side dish (like rice) using broth and seasoning.