Up until recently, any amaranth that entered my kitchen was destined to a lifetime of sitting at the back of a dark cupboard, where aside from the occasional tentative glance, it remained untouched and unused. Usually, enough years would go by that I would finally be forced to dump it in the compost, hoping the earthworms at least would enjoy it. Then I would see it again in the health food store, all fresh and minuscule and promising, so I'd buy a little bag (just a little bag), vowing to make friends with it and create something tasty this time, and the same cycle would start over. I did, along the way, manage a few gluey porridge experiments, but these left me unenthused and even more baffled by the tiny grain. Amaranth porridge is ok, but I infinitely prefer making a bowl of creamy teff porridge, or sticking to plain old wonderful oatmeal.
But a couple years ago, I pulled a neglected bag of amaranth out from the back of my cupboard, determined to give it another chance. The cooking instructions for amaranth generally call for a 3 to 1 ratio of water to grain, which yields the gooey porridge I refer to above. I decided to reduce the water significantly in an attempt to achieve a fluffy cooked grain, and suddenly, amaranth and I were making some headway. Cooked in a 1 to 1 ratio, and only to 'al dente', followed by a resting period under cover at the end of cooking, the grains were beautiful. Not heavy and gooey, but light and fluffy with a lovely chew that lends itself well to many recipes. And that's a good thing if one takes a look at their superstar nutrient profile!
Upon having this mini amaranth-epiphany, one of my first recipe experiments was to try the fritters recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill bag of amaranth. They were delicious! Over time, I adapted the recipe and arrived at an amaranth corn fritter that is packed with flavour and crunch and has become one of my favorite go-to lunches.
To get my amaranth corn fritters recipe, click here.
And please do leave me a comment below, sharing your own favorite ways to prepare amaranth!