today i was given the challenge of baking with the amaranth we have in the cupboard...it's been there for a while now without being used, and i think mum is getting a little annoyed.
i thought that was a fantastic challenge, and so i went on google and started typing in like 'amaranth baking', etc, only to find most recipes call for amaranth flour, rather than the grain...which is what we have. then i stumbled across this little gem at Me and My Boys, which asked for the grain to be popped and added to a cookie batter - interesting idea right?
so, i made the amaranth cookies, and my goodness how tasty! i do have a few issues with some of the ingredients, but i thought i'd follow the recipe as close as possible just in case it turned out weird, then i couldn't blame myself...!! after making them, i think they are pretty adjustable - sub in ground almonds and buckwheat instead of regular wheat for a gluten free variety, and perhaps agave and honey for the sugar so they are sugar free too.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rapeseed oil
1 mashed banana
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups popped amaranth (roughly 1/3 cup before popping)
1/2 cup raisins
- pop 1/3 cup amaranth grain *
- beat together the sugar, oil, banana, egg and vanilla.
- mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, popped amaranth and raisins.
- dollop the mix onto non stick trays and put in the oven at 180c/350f for about 8 minutes.
- remove from the oven and enjoy!!
* to pop the grain, make sure you practice in small sections to get the temperature correct. mine worked best at about medium to medium high. then add 1 tbsp of grain to the hot pan, put the lid on and shake every couple of seconds. it shouldn't take too long to pop (like 30seconds - if that), and you'll know when it's finished, by the reduced amount of crazy popping - although not all of the grain will pop, but that doesn't matter.
why should you even eat amaranth?
- for a full nutrition profile, click here.
- or just know that: amaranth has a pretty complete protein which is highly unusual for plants, it boosts the immune system and reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, it's high in fibre and iron, phosporus and magnesium too, it also has a ridiculous amount of minerals in it!!
i'll definitely be cooking more with this grain, now that i know how to cook it to make it taste just delicious!! i'm thinking popped amaranth granola might be next on the list - particularly lovely with fresh blueberries and cinnamon almond milk....mmmmmm!
ps. the nutty flavour of the amaranth would definitely go brilliantly with chocolate...