Amaranth stands out among whole grains. This quinoa cousin is a protein powerhouse, with the most protein per serving of any grain. It’s also naturally gluten-free, making it a safe choice for people with celiac disease.
While amaranth has a long and storied history in the diet of the Americas, it’s often overlooked in U.S. cereal aisles. Get to know this great grain with a simple recipe from the Whole Grains Council.
Amaranth Polenta With Mushrooms
Serve as a vegetarian side or as a warm and nourishing breakfast.
Yields 3 to 4 servings
1/2 cup dried porcini or other dried mushrooms, loosely packed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, ?nely chopped
1 cup dried amaranth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 3/4 cups boiling water to a large heatproof glass bowl or measuring cup. Chop any large pieces of dried mushrooms before stirring them in the boiling water. Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, heat olive oil. Add shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in amaranth. Add soaked mushrooms and soaking liquid, taking care to leave any grit on the bottom of the bowl or measuring cup. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and thyme.
Continue simmering, covered, until the mixture has a porridge consistency and the amaranth is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes more. (Tender amaranth should still be crunchy, but shouldn’t taste hard or gritty.) Stir in a bit more boiling water if the mixture becomes too thick before the amaranth is done.
Serve with a sprinkle of thyme on top.