I wear a walkie talkie (of sorts) at work, making it easier to communicate with team members and customers who have questions about products. During the past year our store was given a major bulk section makeover, which meant carrying many new types of legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. One grain (or technically "pseudo-grain") that has become very popular over the last year is Amaranth. I have been reading about amaranth in the blog world for a while, and kept meaning to try it, but it wasn't until last month that I finally bought some and tried it in a recipe. Amaranth is actually the grain of the month on the Whole Grain Council's website, so please, read more about it here. I think the main highlights are that it's gluten free, provides a high-quality source of protein, and is the only "grain" that provides vitamin C (who knew?!). Today I want to share one of my knew favorite breakfasts (yes, I've finally strayed from cereal and Greek yogurt ..... slightly.... and have moved on to popped Amaranth and cottage cheese....on occasion).
Popped Amaranth and Toasted Wheat Berry Breakfast Sundae
Modified from a recipe found on Epicurious.com
1/4 cup raw wheat berries *
1/4 cup raw amaranth
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese **
1 1/2 cups fresh and/or frozen berries (Without sugar added)
Heat a small, heavy saute pan over high heat. Add the wheat berries and cook shaking the pan frequently until they start to crackle and swell up (about 2 minutes). Remove to a bowl. To the same pan over high heat add half the amaranth and hold a lid over top of the pan with one hand to prevent the amaranth from flying all over the place (because they will!), and stir lightly with a spoon with the other hand so they all cook evenly. Allow to pop for about 5-20 seconds (yes, the times vary depending on what type of pan you have and how hot you have it. This might take some practice because the amaranth tends to burn easily. Mine burned a bit but was still very tasty! Play around with this a couple time and don't be ashamed if it takes a few practice rounds to get to the perfect "popped" amaranth!). Do the same with the remaining amaranth. Toss to combine the grains. Put aside.
Whip the heavy cream with half of the sugar, until soft peaks forms (or until the mixture starts to thicken to your liking). In a separate bowl, whisk the yogurt, cottage cheese, and remaining sugar together until fluffy and smooth. Gently fold the cream/sugar mixture into the yogurt/cottage cheese/sugar, then dollop the mixture into two separate serving bowls. Top the mixture with the grains and berries
** NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet you may want to avoid the wheat berries. You could always use oats or just extra amaranth instead of the wheat berries. They didn't seem to cause me issues because I'm not very sensitive to wheat (it only causes me problems when I eat large amounts, as in more than one typical serving). Also, be sure to get a lactose-free brand of cottage cheese.
|Estimated Nutrition Facts|
If the fat content is too high, or the sugar, make this without the sugar and heavy cream. I did that once too (and just whipped the cottage cheese and Greek yogurt with some Stevia drops) and enjoyed it almost just as much!
|Toasted Wheat Berries|
|This is what raw amaranth looks like. Tiny!|
|See the raw vs. the popped? They don't get very big when they pop, but you can tell they are popped because they look like small popcorn.|
|This is when I turn off the heat. Almost all of the amaranth has been popped.|
As you can see, some of the amaranth aren't popped, but they were definitely toasted and the flavor added a great flavor to the breakfast sundae.
I think the combination of cottage cheese and yogurt, whipped (even without the heavy cream and sugar) is my new favorite morning-time treat. It's amazing what a little air can do to the texture of dairy!
This being National Celiac Awareness Month and all, my goal is to keep experimenting with new gluten free grains. What should I try next?!
QUESTION: Have you tried amaranth? What about wheat berries? What's your favorite unique grain (or "pseudo-grain")??
I hope all the mothers out there had a great Mother's Day yesterday. I can't wait to experience motherhood myself one of these days! I had a nice time with my mom and a close family friend of ours on Saturday night. We drank wine and ate cheese, crackers, and fruit, while just laughing for hours. Good times.
Thanks for reading.
The Candid Rd