Amaranth is an ancient naturally gluten-free grain that was consumed by the Aztecs. Like quinoa, it is a plant-based food source that contains all the essential amino acids. It’s also high in calcium, magnesium, and iron, and has around 3g of fibre and 7g of protein per serving!
It is a taste and texture that takes some getting used to, in my opinion, but for all the benefits I stated above, it’s well worth persevering. Amaranth is like quinoa’s little brother – it is a very fine grain that has quite an earthy taste to it. When cooked, it becomes sort of chewy and mushy, which makes it great for porridge.
Amaranth can be used in savoury dishes in any recipe where you would use polenta. You can add Indian, Mexican, or Italian herbs and spices, and even just plain ol’ salt and pepper! I used milk in the recipe photos here in place of water because I was making a creamy amaranth porridge. As ever, I encourage you to experiment!
How to Cook Amaranth
- 1 cup / 190g uncooked amaranth
- 3 cups / 750ml water
- Pour the water and dry amaranth in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and heat on a medium heat. Bring to the boil.
- When boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, the mixture should be thick but not glue-like. If it is too thick, add more liquid and mix through. If it is too watery, simmer uncovered for another 5-10 minutes.