VeganMoFo: Amaranth

24 Oct

I first learned about amaranth while I was in the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College.  Much like quinoa, amaranth has been touted as a supergrain.  This “grain” is technically a seed, and the leaves of the same plant are also edible.

Amaranth’s super status comes from its protein content and quality.  Unlike true grains, amaranth isn’t deficient in the essential amino acid lysine, and therefore forms a complete protein when combined with other grains.  It is also a good source of calcium, folacin, magnesium and iron.

Amaranth is tiny!  First time amaranth-triers may be surprised to find that it cooks up into a thick, gelatinous texture.  Prepared in this simple manner, it is great for breakfast mixed with some fruit or maple syrup.  You can also cook the amaranth in juice or broth, to give it more flavor.  To simmer amaranth, use a 1:3 ratio of amaranth to liquid.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 25-30 minutes.

This is Savory Amaranth Porridge, created to incorporate vegetables into breakfast.

If you want to avoid the porridge-ey texture, you can combine amaranth with other grains, using up to a quarter amaranth and cooking as per usual.  This Multigrain Sesame-Beet Pilaf also includes brown rice, millet and quinoa.

Amaranth is naturally gluten free, and the flour can be used in gf baked goods.  Amaranth can apparently also be sprouted or popped, although I haven’t tried either myself.  Here is a little article listing a few ways to use amaranth seeds.

I’ve never had the pleasure of trying amaranth greens, and would definitely snap some up if I ever see them!  They are a traditional food in Africa and Asia, and they have a similar nutritional profile to other greens.  The greens can be eaten raw or cooked, and can be treated much like spinach.

The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition
Wikipedia – Amaranth

Saturday, 10/22/11

pre-run – 1/3 cinnamon Larabar
post-run – rest of the Larabar, banana
lunch – rainbow vegetable soup, one slice wheat toast with 1 tsp Earth Balance, soy latte, cherry almond biscotti
afternoon – 48 oz beer
dinner & evening – 14″ thin crust pizza with spinach, jalapenos, sun dried tomato, pine nuts & Daiya mozzarella (yes, I ate the whole thing…), 48 oz light beer

exercise – ran 2.5 miles (33 min), walked 10 min

daily points used:  29
weekly points used:  19
activity points earned:  7
activity points used:  13
non-existent points used:  19

Sunday, 10/23/11

brunch – sandwich (wheat bread, hummus, baby greens, shredded carrot, grilled zucchini, eggplant & tofu), 8 tortilla chips with salsa, coffee with almond milk & 1 tsp brown sugar
late lunch – tofu salad sandwich on sprouted wheat bread, 1.5 oz sunchips
dinner – 3 oz popcorn with nutritional yeast, an apple, pickled carrots, 24 oz beer

daily points used:  29
non-existent poinst used:  13

Monday, 10/24/11

breakfast – Clif Mofo peanut butter pretzel bar, banana
AM snack – apple, coffee with vanilla soy creamer
lunch – Amy’s tamale verde meal with black beans & rice, 2 mandarins, 6.5 oz chocolate coconut milk beverage
PM snack – 1/4 cup cashew, almond & cranberry trek mix
dinner – Fines Herbes & Dijon Crusted Tofu with Braised Leeks & Pea Puree, 1 cup mashed potatoes made with almond milk

daily points used:  29
non-existent points used:  1

Recipe posted here.


5 Responses to “VeganMoFo: Amaranth”

  1. A Tablespoon of Liz October 25, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    I’ve never tried amaranth.. but I really want to try it! I need to remember to buy some next time I”m at the store!

  2. laceythevegan October 25, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    I haven’t tried amaranth and I’m adventurous with food. I think the multiple millet fiascos I have had turned me off to trying new grains, and I just stick to quinoa and brown rice. Does amaranth taste earthy/dirty like quinoa?

    • veganhomemade October 25, 2011 at 8:47 am #

      I don’t think so, Lacey. Amaranth tastes more neutral to me.

  3. Sarah October 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    I’ve only made amaranth once – and it was thick, stodgy and gross. But now that I know about the health benefits I’ll have to give it another go!


  1. VeganMoFo: Millet & Tuesday Totals « The Vegan Weight Watcher - October 25, 2011

    […] much like quinoa and amaranth, is a small gluten free seed with a good protein content.  Unlike amaranth, however, it will cook […]

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