Amaranth is such a neglected gluten-free ingredient. It’s classed as a pseudo-grain and is similar to quinoa, except the seeds are much smaller. It was loved by the Aztecs and Incas who believed it had supernatural powers!
Now, I don’t think this amaranth porridge does possess supernatural powers, but it is a superfood. Per cup of cooked amaranth, it boasts 9g of protein and almost 30% of your daily iron recommendations. It also has your full daily requirements for manganese, which is essential for healthy brain function.
I could go on – amaranth is fantastic, and well worth a look in if you’re on a gluten-free diet. This amaranth porridge is one of the nicest ways to serve it.
What does amaranth porridge taste like?
Amaranth porridge has a nutty, malty, earthy flavour. The grains are teeny and have a nice chew to them. On its own, amaranth is quite neutral tasting, but in this amaranth porridge recipe, adding mashed banana whilst cooking gives it a delicious natural sweetness that makes it really more-ish.
Some people are perhaps put off by its earthy undertones but I’ve really got into those sorts of flavours recently. And anyway, you can make anything taste good with a good dollop of peanut butter, fresh berries and banana.
If I was to compare the mouth-feel to normal oat porridge, I would say it’s like comparing a pear to an apple. A pear has a grainy, sugary sand feeling in the mouth. Amaranth is similar. It’s perfect if you want a nutritious start to the day but are tired of plain ol’ gluten free oats.
The first time I made amaranth porridge, I messed up my quantities and ended up eating three portions in the stuff in one sitting. I was so full… but if I was able to eat 3 people’s worth then it must be good stuff!
How to cook amaranth porridge?
Learning how to cook amaranth is not tricky – it takes a similar amount of time to other grains you may enjoy.
For porridge, I would recommend making it with milk (dairy or vegan alternative) to add some creaminess and extra flavour. You can enjoy it on its own with water but it’ll really boost the protein content if you use dairy or soy milk, which will help balance your blood sugars and keep you fuller for longer.
To make the porridge, simply bring the amaranth (and any spices you fancy, like cinnamon) and milk to a boil and reduce to low with the lid on for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, the liquid should have absorbed, leaving you with a creamy porridge mixture.
I often suggest sweetening things with honey or maple syrup, but at home, I generally just sweeten things like porridge naturally using banana. Mash one up in a bowl and when your amaranth porridge is ready, pour the contents of the pan on top of the banana and mix it together. The result is a delicately sweetened creamy breakfast bowl with added fibre, and no 11am sugar crash.
How long does it keep for?
You may not have the time to prep this amaranth porridge every morning so you can prep it in advance and reheat when needed. It can also be eaten cold if you like!
I recommend storing it for no more than 5 days in the fridge.
For other tasty alternatives to oat porridge, you should try my buckwheat porridge or quinoa porridge! Both are naturally gluten-free and boast some impressive nutritional stats – a perfect start to your day.
Creamy Amaranth Porridge
- 1 cup amaranth, uncooked
- 3 cups milk (I used Alpro Soy Light)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (and/or ginger powder, nutmeg, or similar)
- 2 bananas
- Optional: maple syrup, popped amaranth, nuts, berries, cacao nibs, nut butter
- Combine milk, amaranth and cinnamon in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and place the lid on the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mash a banana in a bowl.
- When the liquid is absorbed, you should have a creamy mixture with a slight chew to it (but no crunch). Mix the mashed banana through.
- Divide between 2 serving bowls. Top with anything you desire. I used maple syrup, cacao nibs, almonds, and popped amaranth.