Move over quinoa, make way for a new kid on the whole grain block. With slightly more protein and twice as much iron as quinoa, amaranth is beginning to get some attention. Amaranth is a gluten-free, whole grain (technically a seed) about half the size of quinoa. It has a nutty, earthy taste that works well as a hot cereal or as a savory side-dish. My intention for this post was to make popped amaranth (it’s suppose to pop like tiny little popcorn) but I could not get it to pop without burning the seeds. Apparently, it can be done but I didn’t have any luck so I decided to make a hot amaranth breakfast cereal instead. I’m glad I did because it’s an unexpected alternative to oatmeal (and by the way, amaranth has twice as much protein as oatmeal).
Amaranth “Oatmeal” with Raisins, Toasted Walnuts and Maple Syrup
1 cup amaranth, 2 cups liquid (I used 1 cup low-fat milk and 1 cup water), 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, dash of cinnamon
Add amaranth and liquid to a medium size pan. Place on medium heat, cover and bring to gentle boil. Turn down the heat and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small dry pan, add walnuts and toast over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent walnuts from burning. Once amaranth is cooked, add raisins and toasted walnuts. Top with maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.