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Ingredient of the week: Amaranth

Amaranth is new to me, and I wanted to share it with you all!  It is an ancient crop that is naturally gluten free and a complete protein.  Amaranth is high in the amino acid lysine, as well as a great source of fiber, calcium, iron, and magnesium.  It is a flexible ingredient and can be used in porridges, with entrees instead of rice or quinoa, popped for a snack instead of popcorn, and for baking- amaranth flour is a great way to get extra nutrition into cookies and muffins!

To cook: 1 c. amaranth to 5-6 c. of water, bring to a boil and then simmer on medium for 20-25 minutes.

To pop: Heat a pot to high, then add 2-3 tbsp. amaranth, reduce heat to medium, and stir until most of the grain has popped!  Try mixing the popped amaranth with chopped dates and roll in coconut for a delicious treat!

Recipe of the Week!

Aztec Corn Cakes:

1 c. yellow cornmeal
3/4 c. amaranth flour
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, diced
1/4 c. Anaheim pepper, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. white wine
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Combine the cornmeal and amaranth flour in a large bowl.  Boil the vegetable broth, then pour the broth over the flour mixture.  Stir and set aside; it should be thick, like masa.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, and add the onion, Anaheim pepper, and garlic to sauté until soft.  Stir in the wine and all the spices.  Fold the vegetable mixture into the amaranth mixture.

Scoop mounds of the batter into a hot skillet with a little oil.  Flatten the cakes slightly and brown on both sides.  Serve warm topped with a mole sauce, pear salsa, or any other creative combinations you come up with!  Enjoy!


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