I had a few classes in the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts which focused on food and healing. The recipes were simple and straightforward, and the food produced was some of my favorite that we made all term. I thrive on the simplicity of a balanced and nourishing meal and truly get giddy when something so simple using a handful of ingredients can taste so good and be so fortifying.
Amaranth is a beautiful gluten-free grain that is gaining more and more popularity. It is an ancient grain, like quinoa, that is packed with protein and has a pleasant nutty taste. When cooked for porridge, amaranth becomes creamy, but it can also be popped or boiled and mixed with other grains. Amaranth also contains fiber, iron, and calcium, making it an ideal whole grain to add to your cooking arsenal.
Amaranth Porridge with Papaya Apricot Puree, Toasted Almonds, and Fresh Hemp Seed Milk
recipes mildly adapted from the Natural Gourmet Institute
- 1 cup amaranth, soaked in water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for 6 hours
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Apricot-Papaya Puree (recipe following)
- Hemp Seed Milk (recipe following)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place almonds on a parchment paper-lined half sheet tray and toast. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Cool, roughly chop or leave whole and set aside.
- Drain amaranth and combine with sea salt and 3 cups of water in a pot.
- Bring amaranth to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cover pot. Stir amaranth frequently for about 15 to 20 minutes or until grains are cooked and slightly chewy.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in freshly ground flax seeds.
- Serve alongside toppings including fresh nut milk, toasted almonds, honey, cinnamon, and/or apricot-papaya puree.
Fresh hemp seed milk
- 1 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Mejdool date
- 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
Put all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Apricot and Papaya Puree
- 5 dried unsulphured apricots, soaked in boiling water until soft (about 5 minutes)
- 1 ripe papaya (1⁄2 pound), peeled, seeded and chopped
In a high-speed blender, blend apricots with papaya, adding a bit of apricot soaking water if necessary to form a smooth puree.
Put puree on your porridge and use extra on toast or in yogurt.