Saturday, March 14, 2009

Amaranth porridge

amaranth porridge from Lorna Sass's Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
I bought amaranth a few months ago, and decided that it was about time that I figure out how to use it. I wanted to really taste this grain (after all, I'm trying to compile a list of my favorites), so I needed a recipe that really highlighted it. This was somewhat difficult, but I did manage to find a recipe for porridge in one of the cookbooks of the month! And, given my recent love of oatmeal, I thought it would be perfect.

Amaranth porridge (adapted from "Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way" by Lorna Sass)

1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp honey
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon

Soak amaranth overnight in water in small saucepan. Uncover and bring to a boil. Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and amaranth is soft (about 22 min*). It will still have a bit of a crunch to it (it's very much like quinoa in terms of appearance, texture, and protein content). Add remaining ingredients. Serves 4.

* Usually Lorna is right on in terms of her timing. She said that if you soak the amaranth it only takes 3-5 min to cook (instead of the usual 22). I found that it didn't shorten the time at all (so it's fine to skip the overnight soak). Perhaps it was the batch of amaranth that I bought... who knows. Even still, it doesn't take a whole lot of time (and you can always do it the night before).

Exactly as Lorna describes, it has a "mildly sweet, earthy corn flavor." I have to admit that I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as a bowl of steal-cut oatmeal because it lacked the natural sweetness and has a weird consistency (similar to glue), but it was a nice change and a good experiment. I'm definitely planning to try amaranth in savory recipes to see what I think.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

you need to soak the amaranth overnight to get rid of the phytic acid so your body can absorb the nutrients. rinse off before you start boiling it. i agree you still need to boil it for at least 20 mins even if you soaked it. letting it stand awhile in the hot water afterwards makes it get a goey consistency

Katie said...

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for letting me know!!

ben said...

Some grains keep their phytic acid even after overnight soaking!
( http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/soaking-grains )

Do you know if Amaranth is closer to oats/corn or rye in this respect?

Also, I'd love to swap my oatmeal for something that's gluten free, high in soluble fiber.. any ideas if the fiber in amaranth is soluble or insoluble? How does it compare in minerals (mg, mn, etc)?

Katie said...

Ben - Amaranth is very high in total fiber content, and from what I've read it's primarily insoluble. It is high in a number of minerals, as well (the content of almost every mineral is higher than that in oats).

I'm not too worried about phytic acid, so I don't know how amaranth compares to other grains.