I have spoken before on the joys, wisdoms, and powers of a whole grain breakfast including how to work with whole grains in their original form to make nutritious and delicious grain porridges. This recipe is a perfect example, and it was the perfect fix for the cold, grey, drizzly day when I recently made it. What we eat for breakfast sets the tone for the whole day, both physically and emotionally, so make sure you get off to the right start with a meal that is grounding, full of the nutrients your body needs for your busy day, and soothing and comforting to boot.
Amaranth is a lesser known but stellar whole grain that is similar in appearance, taste, and nutritional profile to a tiny version of quinoa, although the consistency and texture when cooked is more like grits. It is packed with minerals and is higher in protein and calcium than milk, while containing the magnesium and silicon essential to support calcium absorption. This tiny, tasty treat is one of my favorite things to cook in The World's Tiniest Kitchen.
Amaranth and Apple Porridge with Chopped Pecans
makes 2-3 servings (can be reheated on the stove for subsequent days)
2/3 cup uncooked amaranth (available at natural food stores)
2 cups fresh water
1 medium apple
4-6 tablespoons chopped raw pecans, plain (or 2 tbsp per serving)
agave nectar, raw honey, or pure natural maple syrup
unsweetened almond milk
Wash the amaranth carefully with your hands in a medium sized pot with plenty of water. The tiny grains will stick to your hands a bit, but just keep rinsing them off in the water. Then drain the amaranth carefully through the finest mesh sieve- you will need this, otherwise the tiny grains will slip through the holes of your strainer- and rinse well. Transfer the washed amaranth back into the pot with 2 cups of fresh water. Wash, core, and chop the apple into small pieces, and add to the amaranth in the pot. Bring to a boil uncovered, then immediately turn down to low, cover, and simmer covered for 20 minutes or so. Check the consistency and give a stir- it is done when the apple is soft and the grain has absorbed the water and turned to a grits-like consistency. If the grains are appearing wet on top but sticking to the bottom of the pan when you try to stir, turn the heat off and leave the porridge to sit covered on the stove for another 5-10 minutes. The steam and moisture will unstick the grains on the bottom. Now you're ready to dress it up!
This recipe makes 2-3 servings, so either portion out what you want for yourself and save the rest to reheat on the stove for the next day or two (when reheating add a little extra water if necessary), or portion into 2 to 3 bowls for yourself and your breakfast companions. Top each serving with 2 tbsp. chopped pecans, a healthy shake of cinnamon, a very light swirl of either agave nectar, raw honey or pure maple syrup (remember the porridge is already sweetened by the cooked apple, so you don't need much) and a subtle sprinkling of sea salt to balance the sweetness and bring out all the flavors. You're ready to spoon into some heavenly Fall in a Bowl! But...
For the final act, if you are so inclined, you can top it off with a gentle pour of unsweetened almond milk, which gives an extra creamy and smooth texture to this already comfortingly soft and sweet dish. It's delicious with it, but perfectly adequate without- chef's choice!
Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org