I realize I am somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to eating grains for breakfast; although many cultures do just that. It's the standard American diet that often leaves much to be desired, especially in the breakfast department. If a grain for breakfast is not your thing, you may want to pass on this one. But if you are a bit more adventurous, and curious as to how great you can feel, I encourage you to try it. It might take some getting used to, but over time you won't miss that sugary processed cereal or pastry. Eating a real grain with a natural sugar will fill you up and satisfy you in the best way possible. Amaranth is a teeny tiny grain that was a staple of the Aztec culture. It's similar to my old faithful quinoa; and like quinoa is high in protein and loaded with calcium and fiber.
For those oatmeal lovers out there, this should go over well with you. It's the perfect time of year to have a warm breakfast bowl. Amaranth has a slightly nutty flavor, and once cooked over the stovetop with milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, it becomes creamy like porridge. I for one love the warm and cool factor; the warm amaranth contrasts with the cold crisp apple. I go topping heavy with walnuts and granola, and drizzle a hefty amount of maple syrup over top. If you are new to a breakfast like this, indulge yourself with some maple syrup to sweeten up the amaranth, similar to what you might do with oatmeal. I make this at the beginning of the week, and breakfast is ready to go for the next few days.
~Warm Apple Amaranth Breakfast Bowl Recipe~
1 cup amaranth
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute (I used vanilla soy milk)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Toppings: (divided among four bowls)
2 large apples, diced
1 cup granola
1 cup walnuts, chopped
real maple syrup for drizzling (about 1-2 tbsp per bowl/serving)
sprinkle of cinnamon
sprinkle of cinnamon
Soak amaranth overnight in a bowl with water. In the morning, drain the amaranth and place in a saucepan with water, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring to a slight bubble. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer away for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed and the amaranth is cooked through. It will have a porridge consistency. Divide among four bowls and drizzle maple syrup on top of each warm bowl. Top with chopped apples, granola, walnuts, and additional cinnamon if you like.