Sometimes the past actually is worth having a look at.....Today was a day of discovery for me as I took a culinary journey in the past to discover a fantastic grain that was used by many indigenous people - Amaranth.
I had heard of this incredible super food a while back and had bought a small bag - which has sat un-touched in my pantry for many months. I really just never knew what to do with it and never took the time to search for a recipe. Today it is chilly out with a constant drizzle and after a hard run I was searching for something comforting and filling to enjoy for lunch. My eyes fell on that sad and lonely bag of Amaranth and I thought, "hey, why not?" I decided to give it a go and just prepare it as it said on the back of the package.
Amaranth is a great source of calcium, iron, and protein - which is especially helpful for folks on vegetarian diets or other restricted diets. (They say that Amaranth actually contains more calcium than a glass of milk...so there you go....no need for that added dairy!)
I simply simmered 1 cup of Amaranth on the stove with 3 cups of water and then added a dash of nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. I cooked this until it looked done (took about 40 min as my stove was acting up and it took ages to actually start boiling). I add a handful of raisins at the end and about a tablespoon of aguave nectar and then let it just sit for about 10 min. The result was amazing and way better than what I had anticipated. (Plus it made at least 3 big portions, so I have lots to enjoy the rest of the week!)
After discovering that I actually love this grain, I began researching how to "properly" cook Amaranth and found some new recipes. I will definitely be trying out some of these and will share them at a future date. One if the biggest suggestions I have so far is to boil your water FIRST, and then add the Amaranth. This will cut down on the cooking time tremendously. You should really only need to cook it for 20-25 min and then let it sit for about 10. Just something you can do while you check emails and that. You don't really have to watch it or stir it.
So, if you are like me and have not given much thought about the tride and true foods that worked so well for our forefathers....maybe give it a go and see what you think!