Wow--Amaranth! The more you know about this amazing grain, the more you will associate it with the word "wow."
This grain is so nutritious that scientists have actually classified it as a C4 plant. What does this mean? Well, my friend...this means that it's crazy nutritious. Simply insane. It's so nutritious, in fact, that people in lab coats had to scratch their heads and come up with a whole new elite group to put it in.
It just didn't fit anywhere else.
I happened to post on Twitter last night that I'd stumbled across some amaranth growing in my backyard. This morning when I checked my Twitter account, I was surprised at the response I'd gotten. Everyone wanted to know more about where to find it and how to cook it.
So, here are a few amaranth tips...
1. To cook amaranth, think pasta, not rice. In other words, boil it in far too much water and then drain it. Don't add just enough water (as you would with rice) and let it totally absorb...this is the road to gummy amaranth. No, you want lovely, separated grains. Pearls of happiness. And this you will achieve, quite simply, by boiling, simmering, then draining.
2. Amaranth grain and flour can be found in most self-respecting health food stores. However, the leaves can be found in my backyard. And no, there isn't enough to share with everyone. Sorry. If I had enough, really I would. But it's just a few stray plants at this point. In other words, if you want lots of the amaranth greens, you will probably have to plant them yourself. But the good news is: they grow like crazy, need little assistance, and promise to nourish you like nothing else!
3. Try substituting some amaranth flour when you have a recipe that calls for a non-gluten flour. In other words, it won't work if you need to use an all-purpose flour (that will rise in breads, for example), but it's great for just about everything else. It adds flavor, nutrients, and interest to all kinds of baked goods! Not to mention excellent juju.