I love grains. Particularly those grains, like Amaranth, that are so versatile. I love how grains like this, cooked as a porridge, create a gooey force-field around each little piece. The tiny dots somehow make a coagulant that is much bigger than each individual grain, forming a giant pot of goo. Lots of littles making a single BIG. That probably makes no sense to anyone, but it does to me! And this blog is nothing if not mindless self indulgence.
What did annoy me was how American my porridge looks. The red and blue berries somehow felt marred by patriotism – even though New Zealand, Britain and Australia all use the same colours. Not that I was aiming for flag food. But I can never use those colours anymore…
One of the brilliant things about Amaranth is that it is so easy to grow in Australia. It is tall, beautiful and bountiful, loving full sun and hot days. I have tiny Amaranth crops growing at the moment – bright pink stalks that grow up to a metre in height, and it comes with the most gothic name ever love lies bleeding. How hardcore, for a flowering plant.Another good thing about it, is that the edible part is a seed, not a grain, so it is gluten free, and you can sprout it. We love it as a puffed cereal in this house.
The seed is also high in lysine, which vegans can sometimes miss out on due to most plants lacking this particular protein. Add in the fact Amaranth is high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, then you’re in for the token SUPER FOOD. Feeling super? Ha, the colours are not patriotic, but super person foods.
As a warning, Amaranth is bloody tiny. It also tastes earth, by which I mean it tastes like dirt. My partner loves is above all other seeds and grains, but I’m a bit meh. You’ll never known until you try it, and I really recommend that you do. The first time should be in porridge form! Which is my preferred method of amaranthus digestus.
- 1 cup amaranth grains, soaked 30 minutes - overnight (optional but recommended)
- 1-3 cups water
- pinch salt
- Milks - soy is yum
- Toppings - coconut sugar, fruit, yoghurt
- If you have soaked the Amaranth, drain and then rinse off in a seive.
- In a small lidded saucepan, add the Amaranth, the salt and one cup of water. Heat over a medium flame, stirring occasionally.
- Once the water has reduced, continue to add the liquid until you get to the consistency that you like. The cooking will take about 10-15 minutes.
- Once the Amaranth is like a thick pudding, you can remove from the heat. Place the lid on the porridge for five minutes, allowing excess liquid to absorb.
- Add some milk to add a creamy element, then dish out into two dishes. Top with fruit etc.