Hot Amaranth Cereal

Cooked amaranth cereal with blueberries

Cooked amaranth cereal with blueberries

 

When I first went gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free, the most difficult transition for me was breakfast.  That’s because for years I ate cereal, pastries and bagels almost every morning.  I despaired over how I would possibly replace those convenient foods that satisfied my morning sweet cravings.  I spent about the first year of my new diet trying out gluten-free cereals.  There are only a few and most of them contained sugar.  So I got used to rotating Nature’s Path corn flakes (sweetened with fruit juice), Perky’s Nutty Rice, and Arrowhead Mills puffed millet (blah).  But that just didn’t fill me up - and as I started eating more whole foods, I became aware of how all those processed grains affected my blood sugar.

 

So I checked out some hot cereals.  Oatmeal was not an option since I was sensitive to oats as well and oats can be contaminated with gluten due to the rotation of crops with wheat.  I was pleased to discover Ancient Harvest quinoa flakes and Pocono’s cream of buckwheat, but I still needed to add to my repertoire.  So I started cooking whole grains, such as polenta and amaranth.  You can buy these gluten-free grains in bulk and save a lot of money over packaged cereals, and they are totally unprocessed, truly whole grains.

 

This morning it was amaranth.  Amaranth is an ancient grain that has been grown in Asia and Central America dating back 5,000 years.  It’s gluten-free and very nutritious – high in protein (nearly complete), iron, calcium, potassium and B vitamins.  In addition to the seeds, amaranth greens (sometimes called callaloo) are also edible.  Cooked amaranth greens, however, are high in oxalic acid (which inhibits calcium absorption), but that is not the case for amaranth seeds. 

 

Cooked amaranth cereal is a comfort food to me.  It’s got a nutty flavor, has a sort of creamy-yet-crunchy texture, and is quite satisfying.  It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, but if you’re in a hurry just bring it to a boil and turn down the heat, then go take a shower while it’s cooking.

 

Per serving:

 

1/4 cup amaranth

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup filtered water

fresh or frozen blueberries

agave nectar

dash cinnamon

 

Bring the amaranth, salt, and water to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Top with fresh or frozen blueberries (or any kind of berries or dates), drizzle with agave nectar, and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Enjoy it with a piece of fresh fruit, a cup of tea, and the morning paper, and you’ve got yourself a complete breakfast.

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15 Responses to “Hot Amaranth Cereal”

  1. Elizabeth Garlick writes:

    I am trying an acid free diet for three monthes as a liver cleanse. Does anyone know if amaranth, and quinoa are acid or alkaline? Most cereals are acid and most veges are alkaline (not all) From Libby

  2. Angie writes:

    Hi Elizabeth, good luck on your acid-free cleanse! As far as I know, one grain that is truly alkaline is millet, though amaranth and quinoa are less acidic than most other grains. It’s nearly impossible to completely rid your diet of acid-forming foods, but I would suggest a huge increase in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables to balance the minimal acid intake. Let me know what works for you!

  3. Katherine writes:

    I’m really enjoying reading through your recipes. I have very recently embarked on a sugar free gluten free diet to try to resolve some health issues I am having and am lamenting the loss of my oats at breakfast. I’m going to try this tomorrow morning!

  4. Angie writes:

    Thanks Katherine – hopefully you can also find some certified gluten-free oats and you won’t have to lament their loss! (they are hard to find though) However, there are so many other delicious grains to enjoy, you’ll soon have many options. Have you tried quinoa flakes yet? Good luck on your journey :)

  5. Yasmin writes:

    Love this – much more than I ever liked oatmeal. I’m a total convert. I added blueberries, blackberries, and just a dash of lemon juice, which really made it sing.

  6. Christina writes:

    By the way–for Elizabeth–quinoa isn’t technically a grain. I did a google search and quinoa is supposed to be alkaline.

    Look forward to trying amaranth!

  7. Yasmin writes:

    I have also made a savory version of this, as a girl who loves cheese grits. I stirred in a little nutritional yeast, salt & pepper. Next time I might try a drop of olive oil too.

  8. Betsy writes:

    Hi,

    Great blog — thanks for sharing. I recently discovered I’m gluten sensitive. I also live in SF. Can you please tell me the naturopath you went to see and if you’d recommend them?

    Thanks!

  9. Angie writes:

    Hi Betsy, the naturopath I went to was in another state, I have not seen one in the bay area since I moved here a couple years ago. Good luck on your GF journey and let me know if you find a good doc!

  10. Mona writes:

    Hey Angie and Betsy,
    I live in Delhi, India. I know a Homeopathic Doctor here who has a treatment for Celiac desease. He is Dr. Pareek in Agra. He is a world famous doc. I would suggest you to check with a homeopathic doc in your area as homeopathic has the treatment to cure this desease unlike allopathic.

  11. Silvia writes:

    this is awesome! i cooked it in organic almond vanilla milk. drizzled a little agave nectar (no cinnamon for me), added defrosted blueberries. definitely a keeper.

  12. Mary Alford writes:

    I make my amaranth, then stir in (per serving) a sliced very ripe banana and a small handful of pecans. You can add more agave and some cinnamon if you want, but it is good with just the banana and pecan! And keeps you full for a long time. Cheers!

  13. jo writes:

    Thanks for this suggestion. I’m having a hard time with breakfast too. I’m always looking for gluten free recipes that don’t use rice, corn, egg, dairy. it’s rather hard to find. I appreciate your website!

  14. Melanie writes:

    Oh wow! This is delicious. I made mine with raw honey, nectarines, cinnamon and vanilla extract and it is DEFINITELY a repeat breakfast recipe! THANK YOU for sharing.

  15. Damien writes:

    Hello,

    Thank you for giving motivation to make amaranth for my breakfast !

    It was an old post, but I wanted to tell you that polenta is not an “whole grain” as you wrote, but corn that as been made into fine pieces. Depends how it had been made, I don’t mean by that precision that it is a bad food though.

    Damien.

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