Hi there! It is so good to talk to you all again!
After Monday’s unfortunate news, I just did not feel up to doing anything (even blogging) yesterday either. However, I am really trying to keep a sense of normalcy in these hard times. I am thankful that I have such a loving family and school community to get through this with me; it is beautiful how much everyone is reaching out to each other. Yoga has also been an integral part of my life in the past few days. I have found comfort in the meditative quality of my practice and peace when I need it most.
What do you do when you are feeling down?
To be honest, though, I just do not want to talk about the loss anymore. I would much rather tell you about happier things to take my mind off of it. Luckily, I have just the perfect idea….
Enters my new favorite snack: chocolate popped amaranth. After first hearing about amaranth in my favorite cookbook, Clean Food by Terry Walters, I was curious about what the gluten-free “pseudograin” had to offer (like quinoa, it is really a seed!). When Ashley started playing around with it during her detox, I knew I had to try some for myself.
Amaranth is quite the nutritional powerhouse. First of all, it contains a complete protein, making it a rarity for plant products but also a great source of non-animal protein for vegetarians/vegans. In addition, it is low in (saturated) fat and high in fiber (rare for gluten-free products) so eating amaranth with keep you fuller longer and maybe even lower your cholesterol. As for vitamins and minerals, amaranth is a great source of calicum, iron, magnesium, and folate.
So it is clear that amaranth is good for you, but how does it taste?
Absolutely, positively, addictively, delicious.
My first amaranth encounter included popping it like popcorn. I already loved popped kamut, millet, and rice, so I kind of knew what to expect. Or so I thought. Popped amaranth wowed me with its light and airy feel, nutty flavor, and ease of preparation.
The chocolate sauce might have helped, too.
Chocolatey Popped Amaranth
- 2 TBS (23 grams) amaranth seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetned vanilla almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1 TBS unsweetned cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Madagascar vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3+ NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops or sweetener of choice, to taste
- 2 strawberries, chopped
- additional add-ins (optional)
- Heat a pan with a lid (see-through preferred) over medium high heat. (I used a non-stick skillet with a lid to give it surface area). Make sure your pan is up to temperature before you start cooking.
- Place 1 TBS of amaranth seeds in hot pan and quickly cover. Shake the pan back and forth over heat. The seeds should pop within 10-15 seconds.
- Once most of the seeds are popped, remove from the heat and place in a bowl.
- Repeat popping procedure with remaining 1 TBS of amaranth. Combine with the other batch.
- Use a wisk to combine almond milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and stevia, making sure to whisk out the clumps. Warm in the microwave, if desired.
- Pour chocolate sauce over popped amaranth. Add more almond milk to make the mixture more cereal-like, if desired.
- Garnish with strawberries or add-ins of choice.
- Popping amaranth is actually quite easy once you git the hang of it. Try doing a test batch or two to get used to your heat source. If the seeds do not pop quickly enough or burn, your pan is probably not hot enough. Just experiment.
- Popped amaranth is a great way to add a gluten-free whole grain to your day. Instead of grabbing some cereal out of the cupboard or a processed snack bar, you can have a delicious bowl of popped amaranth in just a few minutes.
- Play around with add-ins for variety. Shredded coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts—the possibilities are endless! Why not even try a savory version with Earth Balance and nutirional yeast?
- If you do choose to use the chocolate sauce, keep in mind the popped amaranth will soak up some of the liquid (just like how oats do if you let them sit). I found that I had to add more almond milk once I was ready to eat.
- I think this would make a great breakfast, too. Simply double the amounts and you are good to go!
Questions: Have you tried amaranth before? What is your favorite way to add a whole grain to your day?
Have a wonderful day!
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