I am not the only one thinking about amaranth in recent days. After I posted my popped amaranth energy bars recipe on Thursday, I stumbled upon the following article about amaranth, published just three days earlier:
I hope you consider reading the entire article, it is enlightening, exciting and inspiring. Amaranth, an ancient grain of Central America, is being re-introduced to Mexican farmers for myriad reason, most notably for its potential profitability, but also for its ability to grow in areas with poor soil and drought. Because of its remarkable nutritional make-up, it is also being used to combat both obesity and malnutrition, specifically by encouraging communities to incorporate amaranth (back) into their diets.
If the above was not enough amaranth excitement for one article, hold on to your hat (or running visor): Oaxacan chefs and farmers are inventing a wealth of new recipes for the grains (seeds) as well as the leaves. Take a look at the food photos in the article, as well as their descriptions: prepare for your mouth to water.
In the meantime, why not make some toasted coconut amaranth to begin your morning? You can all-coconut, or…add some chocolate chunks:
Amaranth porridge is fast becoming one of my favorite weekday morning breakfasts for two reasons: first, because it is so filling, but not heavy. You know those mornings when you feel like you could eat out the entire refrigerator and still feel hungry? Such moments strike after my long run mornings (often), but also when I have done absolutely zip, save for turn the pages of a novel. Amaranth porridge (especially the toasted coconut + chocolate variety!) is the solution, perhaps because of the naturally occurring combination of long-lasting carbohydrates + plant protein. It’s uber delicious, I guarantee it.
But here’s another reason for some amaranth porridge love: you can make the porridge ahead of time and then reheat it in a minute or so on any given morning. I think it becomes even creamer (and it’s already seriously creamy) upon reheating. Simply make a batch as directed (my coconut version, or the basic porridge on the bag), let it cool, and then store in an airtight refrigerator until you are ready to rewarm and eat.
You can even portion it into grab-and-go containers (small mason jars are perfect), for heating and eating on the run or when you arrive at work. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup unsweetened flake coconut
- ½ cup amaranth
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups coconut milk beverage ( NOT canned! In tetra packs like this)
- 1 cup water
- Optional: (1) Sweetener of choice (e.g., honey, maple syrup, stevia, natural cane sugar), and (2) Dark chocolate chips or chunks
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, toast the coconut until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a small dish.
- In the same saucepan, over medium heat, toast the amaranth, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add salt, coconut milk, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 35 minutes or until very smooth and creamy and a lot (but not all) of the liquid is absorbed.
- Serve in two bowls, sprinkled with the toasted coconut and (optional) sweetener and/or chocolate.