For quite some time now, I’ve been mulling over different ideas of how to get amaranth into our diet a bit more regularly. Quinoa has a home in our regular diet, amaranth is very much a visitor.
So, you can imagine my excitement at this experiment. The original recipe came from the back of the Arrowhead Mills bag of amaranth. You never know where you will find inspiration! The original is simple and quite healthful, but of course I had to play with it.
My version has far less gluten (in the form of spelt) and a number of other goodies ranging from flax seeds to shredded coconut to sunflower seeds. What does it taste like? Heaven.
A m a r a n t h
So what’s Amaranth anyway? Like quinoa, it’s actually a seed and not a grain at all. It’s super-”grain” status isn’t new either. It was a superfood for the Aztecs, too. A staple of their diet, it was also used in religious ceremony, to celebrate it’s health and life-giving properties. These tiny seeds offer a boat-load of protein and it contains lysine, an essential amino acid, which makes this seed a complete, vegetarian source of protein. It’s a great source of several vitamins and minerals such as, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron and vitamin C.
It’s hardiness, it grows at crazy elevations and can even grow here in the desert, should impress you. When you eat it, and you can eat the seeds as well as the greens, that hardiness becomes a part of you. The Aztecs knew it and anything that’s been eaten for at least 6,000 years has a pretty good track record, in my opinion. Oh, and it’s gluten-free.
This Amaranth Date Bread is a great snack or can even substitute your morning granola (amaranth makes a great breakfast food already). Add a bit of yogurt, some banana or if you’re feeling adventurous, a sweet potato, and a drizzle of honey and it’s a meal even the Aztecs would fawn over. Of course, I’m sure of it. 😉
Don’t forget to let me know what you think! Oh, and if you love this, please share it!
Amaranth Date Bread
1 C chopped dates (figs also work well)
½ C amaranth
1 C boiling water
¼ C + 1 T raw honey
¼ C melted butter or coconut oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 C spelt flour
½ C almond meal
¼ C rice flour (it adds a lovely texture)
¼ C shredded coconut
2 T chia seeds or ground flax seeds
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
¼ t ground cardamom
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ C sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F/170°C and grease a bread loaf pan, if using.
Soak dates and amaranth in boiling water from 15-30 minutes.
In a small bowl beat eggs well and add honey, butter (or coconut oil) and vanilla extract. Beat again.
In a larger bowl, mix all the dry ingredients well (not the sunflower seeds).
Pour wet ingredients (egg mixture and date mixture) into the dry and mix well.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan/muffin cups and top with sunflower seeds.
Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.