Monday, September 6, 2010

Amaranth Porridge

Breakfast is quite possibly my favorite meal of the day. It seems like I get in grooves with my morning meals and will eat the same thing everyday for a month before I move on to something new. And I love every minute of it. I could never do that with dinner, I need total variety at my other meals, but breakfast is different. Usually it is something easy to prepare, a tad sweet and definitely flecked with ground flax seed. In the summer it might be a fresh fruit smoothie with almond milk and golden flax seeds. In the winter it might be a hot cinnamon multigrain cereal with big chunks of banana.

Lately it has been a gingerbread inspired amaranth porridge sweetened with a generous drizzle of molasses and a splash of vanilla almond milk. While I was in California I sent my mom a canister of the dry mix with instructions for finishing it off, and that is the recipe I am including today. It is easy to make the mix in bulk to have in the pantry for the week. If you are like me and eating it every day, go ahead and make a batch for the week and keep it in the fridge so you can heat up a single serving each morning for a super easy start. Just make sure to keep the flax separate (ground in your freezer) to stir in last minute once it is off the heat, as their volatile oils go rancid quite easily when heated or exposed to oxygen for too long.

Amaranth is an small ancient grain native to South America. It cooks up quickly (10-15 minutes) and has a nice gooey consistency, which is why it lends well to a morning porridge. I also like to throw in 1/2 a cup or so when cooking rice for a fun variation. It is a non-glutenous grain, making it easy to digest, and rivals quinoa in its protein content. A high quality protein, it contains a wide range of amino acids including lysine, one that is lacking in more commonly consumed grains such as wheat. It is also impressively rich in iron, calcium and magnesium.

Spiced Amaranth Porridge Mix

Serves 6


2 cups amaranth

¼ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup date sugar or raw cane sugar

½ tsp. freshly ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. freshly ground cloves (about 10 cloves)

1/8 tsp. ground ginger


Mix all ingredients and store in the freezer until using. To prepare, mix 1/3 cup mix with 1 1/3 cups water or almond milk and ½ tsp. vanilla. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until it reaches your desired consistency. Place in a bowl and top with a few tablespoons of ground flax seed, a dash of vanilla almond milk, a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of blackstrap molasses.

Relax. Eat Well.

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