Sunday, December 30, 2012

Amaranth Breakfast Love

Amaranth is a pseudograin, (like quinoa, buckwheat and wild rice) meaning it's actually seed but cooks up like a grain.  It is considered by many to be a superfood - delivering twice the calcium of milk,  a high dose of protein, fiber, complex carbs, iron, potassium and many other vitamins.  Unlike acid-forming milk and dairy, amaranth is alkalizing to the system, which allows the body to more readily absorb its calcium.*

Amaranth is the bomb (can I still use that expression?).  It's gluten free, tasty, and quicker to cook than rice.  I've found conflicting information on the web about whether or not it is a complete protein - some say yes, some say no.  What everyone seems to agree on, however, is that it's a nutritionally dense, high quality protein - a definite must-add to the pantries of anyone who is looking to eat well and feel good. (There are also studies that show it to be beneficial to those with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.)  Try it in this simple, four ingredient breakfast dish and see how you like it.

A word to the wise:  Amaranth seeds are insanely tiny.  If you want to rinse your grains before cooking, make sure your mesh strainer is fine enough that they won't pass through it, less you find yourself cursing over a sink full of devestation.


1/2 cup amaranth
1 cup plant milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rolled oats (optional)
2 tsp maple syrup
  • Place amaranth, plant milk, and water in a small sauce pot.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, stir in oats and continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.**
  • Pour into serving bowls and garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped nuts and fruit if desired.
*The body works hard to maintain a slightly alkaline pH.  Milk and dairy, while containing a fair amount of calcium, are acid forming.  When the body gets too acidic, as it often does on Standard American Diet (SAD), it leeches calcium from the bones (calcium is highly alkalizing) to bring it back to alkaline.  As such, high consumption of dairy products is actually highly correlated with osteoporosis.  So much for the Milk Myth the dairy industry has been selling us!

** Add more milk if too thick, more oats if too liquidy.  If not using oats, try adding some flax or chia if you need to thicken it up.

One serving has 289 calories, 0 cholesterol, 12 grams of protein, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 5.3 grams of fat, and 26% of your daily requirements for iron.  

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