Amaranth Uses and Recipe

Amaranth can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient-dense thickening agent.

Amaranth has a sticky texture that contrasts with the fluffier texture of most grains and care should be taken not to overcook it as it can become gummy. Amaranth flavor is mild, sweet, nutty, and malt-like, with a variance of flavor according to the variety used.

Amaranth flour is used in pastas and baked goods but must be mixed with other flours for baking yeast breads because it contains no gluten. One part amaranth flour to 3-4 parts wheat or other grain flours may be used. In the preparation of flatbreads, pancakes and pastas, 100% amaranth flour can be used.

Amaranth keeps best if stored in a tightly sealed container such as a glass jar in the refrigerator. This will protect the fatty acids it contains from becoming rancid. The seeds should be used within 3 to 6 months.

TO COOK AMARANTH

Boil 1 cup seeds in 2-1/2 cups liquid such as water or a mixture of half water and half stock or apple juice. Boil until seeds are tender — about 18-20 minutes. Add fresh herbs or ginger root to the cooking liquid to add interesting flavor, or try mixing it with beans for a main dish. For a breakfast cereal, increase the liquid to 3 cups and sweeten with honey or brown rice syrup. Add raisins, dried fruit, allspice and nuts for that final touch.

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