A few weeks ago, I discovered this wonderful new-to-me grain called amaranth. (Oh how I love the bulk food bins at Whole Foods!) Amaranth is a tiny grain with a shape and flavor similar to quinoa. With 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup, it may just become the next a new super food. Plus, it can be a great source of protein for vegetarians. Amaranth is also gluten-free so it can serve as a grain alternative for those sensitive to that protein.
In my quest for recipes on how to best cook it, I found out that it can be popped like popcorn! How cool is that? After watching a youtube video or two on the process, as well as burning a few batches, I finally got the hang of it. All you do is toss about a tablespoon of amaranth grains into a hot pan, cover, and shake. They should start popping almost immediately if you have your pan at the right temperature. (I found that getting the temperature right was the trickiest part of learning to pop.) The popped grains make a fun alternative to puffed rice cereal. As you’ll see, I topped my smoothie in a bowl with some!
Speaking of smoothies, I made this berry one up last week when I accidentally dropped my bowl of oats on the floor. (Score: Deb 0, Honey 1) In need of a new super-fast breakfast, I whipped up a berry smoothie. Over this long cold winter, I had forgotten how delicious they are and made another one over the weekend. Since I didn’t have to take it in the car with me, I poured it into a bowl and topped with some of my popped amaranth. Delicious!
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Place all ingredients into a blender and process on high until smooth. Enjoy as is or pour into a bowl and top with your favorite nuts, seeds, or coconut flakes.