Amaranth Porridge with Buttered Apples & Hazelnuts
We’ve been on a big porridge kick the last few months. I’m usually an eggs and bacon kind of girl when it comes to breakfast but this winter I’ve been leaning towards big bowls of grains to get me through the morning. The toppings are endless and you can go sweet or savory. I love my old fashioned rolled oats and those usually make an appearance a few times a week but in an effort to get a little more variety into my diet I’ve recently turned to amaranth, and hot damn! This little powerhouse of a breakfast is my absolute favorite. I love the texture, I love the slight nutty flavor and the nutritional profile of these little seeds is icing on the cake. Amaranth is high in antioxidants and is packed full of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and protein and is low on the glycemic index. We actually used to grow amaranth at our old farm (we’d harvest it before it went to seed and enjoyed the leaves instead) However, I’m contemplating growing it here at Tumbleweed Farm so we can harvest the seeds and process them ourselves. More on that later! Back to this breakfast bowl!
A few things on amaranth (and pretty much any grain) in order to access all the nutrients you need to soak it before preparing it. I’ve been hearing about the importance of soaking grains for years but I’ve been too lazy to get into a good habit of it constantly. Of course, you can skip soaking if you don’t have time but the texture and nutritional value are superior when you take the time to do so. Since we’re having grains almost every morning these days I’ve gotten into a good routine of soaking my grains right as I’m doing my morning dishes. You can soak anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. You want to soak your grains in a covered bowl or dish and set it on the counter at room temperature. I like the longer soak as I feel the texture is much better. I also add a little vinegar or lemon juice to the soaking liquid which I’ve learned does two important things- it removes the phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and other important minerals and it transitions the grains from acidic to alkaline-forming. (source)
Anyhow, you’ll figure out what works for you as you make this more. Another note on soaking- soaked grains take less liquid to cook. A typical 1 cup of un-soaked amaranth should be cooked in about 3 cups of water. If you are working with pre-soaked grains you’ll want to reduce the liquid by about 1/3 of that. I usually cook up 1 cup of un-cooked amaranth because it equals about 4 servings and then I have breakfast for a couple of days. Anyhow, this little breakfast is a new favorite and I hope you all fall in love with this combination like I have.
Happy cozy mornings everyone!
Amaranth Breakfast Porridge with Buttered Apples & Hazelnuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Serves: 4Soak
- 1 cup amaranth
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup soaked amaranth
- 2 cups whole milk or water
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 apple, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- a small handful of hazelnuts
- honey or maple syrup for serving
- drizzle of hazelnut butter (or any nut butter you like)
- extra milk or yogurt for serving
- Prepare the amaranth by placing it in a bowl with enough water to cover it by an inch. Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, cover the bowl and set it on the counter. Anywhere from 8-24 hours. In the morning rinse and drain the amaranth in a wire colander lined with cheesecloth, and discard the water. Rinse well.
- Place the amaranth in saucepan with the milk or water and a fat pinch of salt. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low, give the pot a good stir, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the amaranth is soft (a little bit of liquid left is okay). Stir the pot once or twice while simmering. Remove from the heat, give one last good stir to make sure none of the amaranth is sticking to the bottom of the pan, and keep the lid on for an additional 15 minutes to thicken.
- While the amaranth cooks heat the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Once melted and foaming add the chopped apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and a tiny pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the apple is softened and golden brown on all sides. About 8-10 minutes.
- Add the hazelnuts to a small dry skillet set over medium heat and toast until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle roughly chop.
- Divide the amaranth between bowls, top with the apple and toasted hazelnuts. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup , nut butter, and add a bit more milk or yogurt if desired.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Cooking times will very from kitchen to kitchen. Store leftover amaranth in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days