Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Amaranth Porridge

Amaranth Porridge
Adapted from Three Many Cooks

Amaranth is a seed rather than a grain. You can find amaranth at Whole Foods Market or any health food stores. They are sold in packages and in bulk bins. Amaranth is inexpensive so do give it a try because it is very delicious. Amaranth is a nutrient powerhouse. It is gluten-free and contains more protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber than any other type of gluten-free grain. When cooked as a porridge, amaranth has the appearance of cream of wheat, but tastes very different from cream of wheat. It is thick and somewhat glutinous, a bit earthy and nutty in flavor, creamy with a slight crunchy texture...that is the best I can describe amaranth. It is delicious and I wish I had tried this sooner. It was love at first bite. It takes 25 minutes to cook amaranth porridge. It smelled grassy at first (I wasn't sure if I was going to like it) and almost seem impossible that it will thicken up, but it will. It will require your stirring attention during the last 10 minutes of cooking time because it will thicken up quite fast at the end and may scorch if you leave it unattended. I like my porridge on the thick side since I like to add unsweetened fresh coconut milk to my porridge when I eat it, so cooking with 3 cups of water is a perfect amount to use.

1 cup of amaranth (6.5 ounces)
3 cups of cold water (24 ounces)
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons organic unrefined coconut oil (0.6 ounce)
2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar or coconut palm sugar (0.6 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

In a medium-size pot, bring water, amaranth and salt to a boil over medium-high heat (7.0 on induction cook top) When mixtures comes to a boil, lower heat to medium-low heat (4.0 to 3.0 on induction cook top). Continue to cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Partially cover pot because mixture will splatter as it becomes thicker. Pay close attention during the last 10 minutes of cooking time because mixture will thicken up quite fast and may scorch if you don't stir it frequently. Consistency will be quite thick and glutinous-like. When done, stir in sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon and cardamon. Remove from heat and ready to serve.

Serve with unsweetened fresh coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk or any type of milk of your choice. Top with fresh or dried fruits and toasted nuts, if desired.
Can store any remaining porridge in the refrigerator in portions and reheat in the microwave for about 1-1/2 minutes on high power.
Yield 4 servings
Calorie count for each serving (5.8 ounces) of amaranth porridge including 1/2 cup of unsweetened fresh coconut milk is 273 calories.