When I was a child, I refused to eat oatmeal. Frankly, I was a bit odd when it came to breakfast. My daily habit consisted of either buttered toast, Crispix cereal, or Cream of Wheat. Never the sugary cereal or the “dinosaur egg” oatmeal my brother liked.
At some point I grew past that and embraced every kind of breakfast, from blueberry waffles to omelets. Still, there is something to be said for the childhood comfort of a bowl of Cream of Wheat, and now that I’m an adult and fully into experimenting with ingredients, I’ve fallen in love with amaranth porridge.
Amaranth is a plant that is sometimes considered a weed, but is also cultivated for eating. In many countries the seed is what you eat. These teeny-tiny seeds are similar to quinoa and puff up slightly when cooked. You can order it online, or find it in some grocery stores near the other ancient grains.
Amaranth is also an excellent source of protein, fiber, and lots of minerals, so it’s a good option for those who are health conscious. It has its own uniquely nutty taste and is certainly a filling breakfast!
Amaranth porridge is an excellent substitute for oatmeal if you are still craving that hearty taste but need to add something new to the menu. I like to cook it with a mixture of milk and water, and then whatever fruit I feel like having.
Firm fruits like apples and pears work beautifully with this recipe, as well as bananas and frozen berries. For fresh berries, I like to add them at the end of cooking, just so they’re warmed and not completely mushy.
You can also use your favorite spices in amaranth porridge, from cinnamon to nutmeg to cardamom. I haven’t tried making a savory version yet, but because savory oatmeal is all the rage right now I might need to make my own twist.
Be sure to serve the amaranth porridge with maple syrup for drizzling, or cream if you like (or both!). Any leftovers can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and reheated in the microwave with a little extra liquid.
Give amaranth porridge a try!