Amaranth is one of the less mainstream grains, but it packs a nutritious punch! Like buckwheat and quinoa, amaranth is an especially high-quality source of plant protein including two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine, which are generally low in grains. Amaranth is packed with iron and calcium, and its fiber content is triple that of wheat. It is completely gluten-free and it is an especially digestible grain, making it a traditional food for people recovering from illness or transitioning from a fast or cleanse.
As one of the less mainstream grains, your best bet for locating amaranth is at your local natural food store.
Enjoy this recipe from Dr. Andrew’s Weil’s website!
Traditionally a Middle Eastern pilaf is made with white rice, but here we use a healthful grain, toasting it first to bring out its flavor, and mixing in aromatic vegetables to create a delicious, more nutritious dish.
Toasted Grain Pilaf
2 cups millet, quinoa, amaranth or a combination
1/8 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (more, as needed)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dried in a package, not in oil)
1/2 cup boiling purified water
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded yellow summer squash
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions or green onions
Salt to taste
Toast the millet (or other grains) in a large saucepan set over low heat, stirring it constantly until it turns a light brown color, less than 1 minute. Stir in the curry powder until it is blended in. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer. Check after 20 minutes. If the stock has boiled away, add a little more. Cook until the millet has absorbed all the liquid, about 25 minutes in all.
Meanwhile, soak the dried tomatoes in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain them in a colander set over a bowl to reserve the liquid, then chop them. Mix the tomatoes, reserved liquid, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, and scallions or green onions together in a small skillet set over low heat and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Pour into the cooked grain and toss until everything is completely mixed together. Taste and add salt if you think it is needed. Fluff with a fork and serve.
You can also make this recipe with brown rice, but the cooking time would increase to 45 minutes. Serves 6
This recipe is from The Healthy Kitchen – Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit (Hardcover) by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley (Knopf)