Amaranth is an ancient grain, eaten by the Aztecs. In addition to being a high quality source of plant protein (9 g per cup- 19% of your RDA), amaranth is high in iron and calcium, and is an excellent source of fiber (3 times more than wheat). It’s rare when a grain is also a source of protein, which is one reason why amaranth is considered a superfood. (It’s also, technically, a seed, not a grain, but it doesn’t matter really…)
Perhaps more importantly for dancers, amaranth is delicious and easy to cook. In a small pot, combine
- 3 cups cold water
- 1 cup amaranth
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to a low simmer and set the timer for 20-25 minutes- keeping it covered. Check after about 15 minutes, to be sure grains aren’t sticking to the bottom. Amaranth is done when the water has been absorbed and you have a thick, viscous cereal. It has a particular taste even before adding nuts and berries, so give it a try and see what you think. I like it sweet, but it can also be made savory if that’s your thing.
If you like a sweet breakfast, try serving it with any combination of the following:
- Fresh berries (I’m partial to fresh raspberries though frozen ones work as well)
- Chopped nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans
- Dried fruit: raisins, cherries, blueberries, apricots
- Dried, shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- Maple syrup, raw honey, or stevia
- Almond milk
Amaranth is tasty reheated as well; just stick it in the microwave with a few drops of water on it to remoisten or heat it over low heat on the stovetop. If you like variety, add fruit and nuts only to the bowl you’re eating so that what you put in the fridge is plain and can be flavored differently later on. If you make a large enough pot, you’ll have enough for two or three breakfasts or afternoon snacks.