Considered an ancient grain, amaranth is a great source of nutrients. It has a lot of fiber, up to 15%, a lot of protein, up to 14%, and it can be used in many ways. It also contains a lot of lysine, an amino acid found in few foods, and has more calcium than most other grains. The best reason to eat amaranth is for these nutritional reasons, but it can also serve as a staple in the diets of people who are diabetic or have celiac disease due to its low glycemic index and lack of gluten. Children also benefit from amaranth in their diets for its high nutritional value. Amaranth is a whole grain that can also be considered a vegetable. Although it is gaining in popularity, it is still not widely used by many people who are not sure how to cook it. Knowing how to use it will help you incorporate it into your diet more often.
Part 1 of 4: Grain Ratio for a Meal
The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming grains as part of a healthy diet. These beans can be served separately or as part of a dish. Amaranth is a good substitute for rice or pasta and satisfies the grain ratio of a meal.
Step 1. Serve amaranth instead of rice
- Use 2, 5 to 3 cups of water to one of amaranth.
- Keep in a saucepan over low heat for approximately 20 minutes.
- All the water should be absorbed and the beans should be soft when finished.
- You can also toast amaranth in butter and add it to a pilaf with rice and other grains.
Step 2. Use amaranth instead of couscous, risotto or orzo on your plates
Amaranth works well as its texture and size are not far from these pasta or grain dishes. Use a little less water so that it maintains the grain's structure.
- Make whole-grain dumplings with amaranth. It is a good addition to whole grain breads and can be used either whole or as a flour.
- The whole grain will add texture and flavor to the bread.
- If you use flour, you can substitute 5% to 30% of the wheat flour for it. The only change you need to make to the recipe is to increase the water a little.
- Amaranth also works well as a gluten free flour. When making gluten-free breads, you'll need to replace all the wheat flour with amaranth and increase the water, adding xanthan gum and starch to help the bread bake properly.
Step 3. Make amaranth instead of oatmeal
- Amaranth can be simmered with juice to produce a sweet taste.
- Add nuts, spices and fruits for a healthy breakfast.
Step 4. Add amaranth to soups or chili
The flour from this grain can be used to thicken soups or the cooked grain can be used to add flavor and texture.
Part 2 of 4: In desserts
Amaranth has a mild flavor that goes well with most recipes, including desserts. Many people describe this grain as having a slightly toasted flavor, close to nutty.
Step 1. Make amaranth pudding
He is like rice pudding. You can make the same recipe by substituting the beans.
Step 2. Use amaranth to make cookies
- The seeds give the cookies a crunchy texture.
- Flour can also be used to make gluten-free cookies. You just need to substitute regular flour for it when making gluten-free cookies. This will affect the flavor and make the biscuit slightly drier. To avoid these effects, add some apple juice to the recipe. Apple juice will moisten the dough and add some flavor.
Part 3 of 4: Baking with Amaranth
Amaranth works well in baked goods, especially those without gluten. Using this grain increases the nutritional value (because of fiber and protein). Furthermore, amaranth has a low glycemic index. People who want to keep their blood sugar stable and keep eating baked goods can do this with amaranth.
Step 1. Replace a portion of wheat flour with whole wheat flour with amaranth
By substituting more than 30% of the flour in this way, you can still make most recipes by mixing in the amount of water. More water may be needed because this flour absorbs more liquid than wheat flour.
Step 2. Make gluten free foods
Going to gluten-free eating requires more changes in recipes because you need to build an air structure into gluten-free bread. Use xanthan gum and starch to overcome this problem. When making cookies or other baked goods that don't need as much cellular structure, it is possible to substitute 100% of the wheat flour.
Step 3. Add whole amaranth for flavor and texture
You can toast the seeds before using them or simply put them raw in most bread and cookie recipes. Toasted seeds go well in foods such as cookies as they add flavor and a crunchy texture.
Part 4 of 4: Healthy Snacks
Healthy snacks are part of a balanced diet. Ideally, when eating your snack, you try to ensure that carbohydrates and proteins keep you satiated until the next meal. Amaranth provides these nutrients and can be added to most snacks.
Step 1. Pop the amaranth for a crispy snack
It will pop and create "popcorn" that can be eaten anyway or put into a snack mix.
- To pop the amaranth, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the seed in a very hot skillet.
- Stir continuously even while they pop.
- Once most of it is burst, quickly remove it from the pan so it doesn't burn.
- Try covering it with honey and cinnamon for a sweet snack.
Step 2. Add amaranth to the vitamin
This will increase the nutritional value and make the texture thicker, with a nutty flavor.
Step 3. Finished
- Buy and try some products made with amaranth before you commit to using it regularly. This will help you decide if you really want to use it.
- Use a (fine) tea strainer to wash the amaranth and dry thoroughly before using.