Amaranth comprises a large family of herbs native to America, with at least 60 of its species beings used as food. Its seeds are especially relevant, and their importance to the original settlers is very well documented. The different ways in which to prepare the seeds are still popular today in several American countries. “Alegrias”, a sweet treat found in Mexico, are made essentially from amaranth seeds mixed with honey.
Amaranth is not only delicious, but also extremely nutritious. It is a very unique source of vegetable protein, and unlike other vegetable proteins, it also provides Lycine – a protein that we need at least 1.5 grams a day of. It is also a source of vitamin C and helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Try these delicious seeds, roasted in their traditional manner. Just to get you excited about trying amaranth, I’ll provide you with three recipes that I hope you find to be very special.
- 1 ½ c. water
- ½ c. amaranth
- 1 cucumber
- ½ onion
- 1 stalk of celery
- ¼ tsp. mint
- ¼ c. cilantro
- ¼ c. nuts
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ½ c. peas or beans
- 1 c. Feta cheese
- Bring the water to a boil, then add amaranth. Reduce heat and cover pot, cooking amaranth on low heat for 20 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed.
- Peel and chop the cucumber and celery into medium size pieces.
- Finely slice and dice the onion, mint and cilantro.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl or deep dish, adding nuts and peas already cooked.
- Once the amaranth is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Press with a spatula or spoon to remove all liquid.
- Add amaranth to vegetable and nut mixture. Combine and season with lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Try the seasoning; if necessary add more salt and pepper.
- Lastly, add Feta cheese, cut and crumbled into small bites.
- Can be served with a touch of lemon juice or lemon slices to add a fresh taste.
Chocolate Amaranth Cookies
- ½ c. nuts
- ½ c. sugar
- ¾ c. wheat flour
- ¼ c. amaranth flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 stick of butter (90 grams)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/3 c. amaranth
- ¼ c. chocolate chips
- In a food processor, blend nuts and 2 Tbsp. of sugar until finely blended. The nuts should be as fine as powder or sand.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, placing wheat flour, amaranth flour, salt and cocoa, and mixing until well blended. This helps to spread everything evenly in the dough.
- Blend the butter and remaining sugar to a creamy consistency. The mixture should be smooth and change to a lighter color.
- Add egg yolk and mix until well blended.
- Little by little, add dry ingredients previously mixed.
- Stir until all ingredients are well blended. Once the mixture becomes thick, add amaranth and chocolate chips.
- Make small dough balls and place them on a tray with wax paper, leaving plenty of space between each ball.
- Lightly press each dough ball, decorating with half a nut on top if you like.
- Bake cookies 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are firm and slightly golden.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- 2 c. amaranth flour
- ½ c. millet
- ½ c. tapioca flour
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. gluten free dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c. vegetable oil
- 2 c. water
- Combine amaranth flour, millet, and tapioca with salt, xanthan and yeast. The xanthan makes the bread consistency much better.
- Add one egg, and mix until blended, adding little by little to make sure it is blended well.
- Add oil and water until the dough becomes uniform and stretchy.
- Knead dough for 7 to 9 minutes.
- Let rise for 30 minutes.
- Shape into a ball or use a sponge cake pan lined with a touch of oil.
- Place in greased baking pan, glazing on remaining egg. Bake at 190°C (375° F) for 30 minutes.