How to Cook Amaranth

Amaranth is a nutritious whole grain that is sold in health food stores. A complete protein, it is a delicious way for vegetarians to get the protein needed for a healthy diet. Amaranth is also higher in calcium and magnesium than dairy products. Since it has a high fatty acid content level, it should be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to three months. If you're new to this hearty whole grain and want to learn how to cook amaranth, you'll be pleased at how easy it is to prepare.

One popular way to cook amaranth is to pop it like popcorn. Add a little vegetable oil into the bottom of a heavy saucepan, add the amaranth seeds, cover the pan and gently shake it or slide it over the burner as you pop the amaranth seeds over medium to medium high heat. Make sure you keep the pan moving so the seeds don't burn on the bottom. Once most of the seeds have popped, mix in a small amount of corn syrup or maple syrup, and mix well to create a delicious form of amaranth kettle corn.

You can also grind amaranth into amaranth flour and bake with it, roast amaranth and eat it as a snack, or sprout amaranth seeds for a healthy salad topping. Most people choose to boil amaranth seeds and eat them as porridge or in place of rice or couscous.

To boil amaranth seeds, combine two and a half cups of water (or apple juice or chicken broth) for every one cup of amaranth seeds in a heavy saucepan. Simmer the amaranth seeds for 20 minutes or until the seeds are tender and somewhat sticky. For a sweet porridge, cook the seeds in juice and add cinnamon or ginger root. For a savory dish, cook the seeds in chicken broth, and add fresh herbs or a little butter and salt. Amaranth has a malty, nutty taste that many people have come to love. Eating whole grains like amaranth is good for your health and adds variety to your menu.

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