WEDNESDAY, MARCH 04, 2009
AMARANTH PORRIDGE WITH MAPLE & FRESHLY GRATED CINNAMON
AMARANTH, like?quinoa, is actually a seed, and is packed full of nutrition. It was the sacred food of the Aztecs – their primary sustenance. Unfortunately, this powerhouse of a food was annihilated by conquistadors in an effort to control the Aztec population. Luckily, it has seen a renaissance as of late, and can now be found at most natural foods stores or?online.
It’s no surprise that an entire civilization survived on amaranth. It is filling, cooling, energizing, and astringent in nature (perfect for this season of congested lungs). These tiny seeds have a ridiculously high protein content, are great plant sources of iron, and boast calcium (more than milk!), vitamin E, and numerous minerals. Additionally, and I think this quite an important note, amaranth contains approximately twice the amount of fiber of whole wheat.?Twice.?The bag should come adorned with a warning label:
“FOLLOWING CONSUMPTION: HOVER NEAR WASH CLOSET”,?or at least?something?to that effect.
Amaranth has a pleasant wild and woodsy flavor. However, be sure to purchase organic amaranth from a farmers’ market or natural food store with high turnover, as age and light can make the seeds bitter. Commonly, stores stock a golden amaranth, though black, pink, and, well, somewhere around sixty other varieties exist. Store amaranth for up to a year in a cool, dry, dark cupboard, preferably in a sealed glass container.
I’m curious, what do?you?eat to start your day?
APPROXIMATELY 4 SERVINGS?I am quite fond of the unfamiliar, gooey texture amaranth acquires when cooked by the method below. This porridge is fast, energizing, and insanely filling.
1 cup amaranth seeds
3 cups cold filtered or spring water
Heavy cream, preferably?raw
Grade B maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
Sea salt to taste
Add amaranth, 3 cups cold water, and 1 cinnamon stick to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until amaranth reaches the consistently of thick porridge (it should still be a little soupy); add more water as necessary. Add a liberal pinch of sea salt, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Remove cinnamon stick. Divide amaranth among warmed bowls. Top each with a teaspoon of cream and maple syrup to taste. Using a?microplane, top each serving with a fresh grating of the remaining cinnamon stick. Serve at once.