Amaranth-Banana Porridge

Amaranth-Banana Porridge from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

Is it still cold enough where you are for a hot breakfast? I’m not sure what’s going on here in Southern California, but we hit 85°F earlier this past week. Despite the unseasonable warmth and, dare I say, too hot, days, the sunshine makes me happy:

Winter in California amidst palm trees and blue skies | www.carrieonvegan.com

We are still getting cool nights, though, so waking up to a hot breakfast is both comforting and warming. I decided to give amaranth a try because my husband has developed an intolerance to oats in recent months. We are both gluten-sensitive and I found some research online that showed that some people in our category can be sensitive to a protein in oats as well, even the gluten-free variety.

So…time for a new grain. Actually, I learned in doing my research that amaranth is one of those pseudograins like buckwheat, wild rice, and quinoa (i.e., more in the seed family than grains). There is some great information listed about the history and unique nutritional properties of amaranth on the Whole Grains Council website.

Amaranth is very easy to prepare, but its texture is very porridge-like, as opposed to starchy. Hence, my Amaranth-Banana Porridge sweetened only with ripe bananas. I made mine in the pressure cooker, but it cooks fairly quickly, 15-20 minutes, in a regular pot as well. I started with one cup of amaranth, two and a half cups of my homemade unsweetened almond milk, plus two ripe bananas:

Amaranth-Banana Porridge from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

After three minutes on high pressure, it looked like this:

Amaranth-Banana Porridge from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

Here’s a close-up that gives you a better idea of the texture:

Amaranth-Banana Porridge from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

Recipe:

Amaranth-Banana Porridge
 
This is an easy, delicious gluten-free breakfast with no added sugars. You can make it in the pressure cooker or on the stovetop.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked amaranth
  • 2½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, for topping
Instructions
  1. For pressure cooker: Combine amaranth, almond milk, and bananas into a 3-quart pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes and let the pressure come down naturally. Serve hot with cinnamon sprinkled on top.
  2. For stove-top cooking: Bring almond milk to a gentle boil in a lidded pot. Stir in the amaranth and sliced bananas, lower the heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the grain has absorbed most of the liquid. Serve hot with cinnamon sprinkled on top (porridge will thicken as it sits).

Topped with cinnamon and then some pomegranate arils and coconut to make it look pretty, it is a nutritious breakfast suitable for kids or adults:

Amaranth-Banana Porridge from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.comFor my American readers, I hope you have a wonderful, long weekend celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I have a friend visiting later today from Washington State and boy, oh boy, is she going to be happy when she feels how warm it is here. I might even have to turn on the air-conditioning for my snowbird friend. Until next time, stay warm or cool, depending! :)

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Note: this post has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays and Wellness Weekend.

Comments

    • says

      It’s yum, Kate, and there are some cool nutritional benefits to amaranth as well. It’s high in iron and lysine, I remember those specifically when I was reading about it.

  1. says

    Wow. I didn’t expect that texture after cooking. Interesting.

    Question: Your recipe says serves four, but you only use one cup of amaranth. How much is a serving? One of the problems I have with grains/cereals for breakfast is that I like to eat a lot at one meal, so even one cup of something doesn’t work for me.

    On another note, I have issues with oats, too. Even the gluten free ones! What kind of sensitivity do you mean? For me, I find my breathing is a bit inhibited after eating a larger amount of oats, like after a big bowl of oatmeal. They don’t seem to bother me if I eat a small amount, though. I don’t feel like my throat is swollen or anything after eating the oatmeal; it’s more of a lunch issue. Weird, I know, but it wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t ;-)

    By the way, we’re expecting a high of 12F today, and we get 1-2 inches of snow a day. Winter on Lake Michigan isn’t exactly fun :-/

    • says

      Hiya, Veronica! Thanks for the questions. Re: the serving size, amaranth is like quinoa or rice, it grows after cooking. That said, one cup cooked might be more like 2-3 servings if you are hungry (I’m the same way, I eat pretty big portions of everything). :)

      Let’s see, about the oats thing, I can’t remember where I found out about the protein sensitivity thing, but it wasn’t anything published like a study. Try Google’ing “oat protein sensitivity” and see what you can find. I only thought to do it after someone mentioned to me her sensitivity with eating oats and wondered what was up with that and if that could be the cause for my husband’s recent issues. For him, it’s more of a GI issue than what you described. Again, I have no hard research to show on this, but I was pretty surprised when I came across something about the protein and gluten-sensitive people maybe being more at risk.

      Ack! Your comment about the weather where you are certainly makes me think twice about complaining about it being too warm here. Stay warm!!!

  2. says

    Hey Carrie, just a little note on the cooking times on the stove – I cooked it for 20 minutes and it was nowhere near ready. My packet said to simmer for 35 minutes and rest for 15 so I think it may need a longer time. Are there different varieties of amaranth that have different cooking times?

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Hi Cat! Oh darn, I’m sorry about the misinformation on my recipe. I found the cooking time for the stovetop online, so that was obviously incorrect. I’ve amended the recipe to reflect a longer cooking time. I hope you still liked it and it didn’t mess up your schedule too much having to cook it longer! How was the liquid to grain ratio?

  3. Sarah says

    Looks delicious as always!!!! I too am someone who is gluten sensitive and have trouble with some oats – though sometimes I think our sensitives can come up as our body’s way of telling us it’s time to try something new – which in this case I’m kinda glad so now we have a new recipe to try ;) There is a company called Montanna Gluten Free that actually has bred an oat variety with less of the avenin peptide – that can be one of the culprits behind oat sensitivities. I’ve been using their oats for a few months now and find them to be the most delicious ones I’ve ever eaten – especially the whole oat graots which are extra nutty tasting! I also find that I tolerate them much better than the other gluten free varieties. So if you are looking for something new to try I highly recommend checking them out! I’d be curious of you guys tolerate them any better… http://www.montanaglutenfree.com/

    • says

      Sarah, thank you SO much for this resource!!! I had no idea that I could buy oats lower in the bothersome protein (I didn’t even remember its name) and this makes me so happy. I am going to order some ASAP. You are a wealth of information and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the referral and info!

      • Sarah says

        Yay! It’s science experiment time :) I am glad to share what little I can with you since you share so much with all of us! I’m glad we can all help eachother out ;)

          • Sarah says

            I wish I could take credit for the Eden Nuts find, but it was indeed someone else. But I did order it the same day you posted about it (I think you had it in your notes from a Fuhrman gathering of some sort as being one of the only brands that uses unhulled sesame seeds for their tahini’s). It’s my #1 favorite nut butter brand too! I’m seriously addicted to the Almondie and even eat it off the spoon!!! But it’s you I have you to thank for adding this deliciousness to my life :)

      • Linda says

        Please let us know if the specialty oats work for you guys! I still miss oats more than any other single food my body cannot properly digest. With me it’s an inflammation trigger; and with Crohn’s disease, inflammation is my mortal enemy, so I just can’t go there. But if your husband can tolerate the specialty oats, then perhaps it’s worth risking a try for myself.

        Selfish of me, but it makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one who can’t eat oats; with Dr. F loving them so much, I’ve felt kinda isolated by my food intolerances sometimes.

        • says

          I will def let you know, Linda. I just placed my order yesterday (the same day I learned about this type of specialty oats) and I can’t wait to try them out. Even though it’s only been about 3 weeks since we stopped eating oats, I already miss them. I had no idea that there was this type of intolerance. How wonderful that this alternative exists and that Sarah shared the resource.

          • Sarah says

            I really hope they work for you guys. I should have mentioned that the oats are also not “stabilized” like most brands do – so no heat has been applied to them at all. I have noticed that this seems to make it more difficut to digest when using the oats raw in recipes (but I also have a super sensitive tummy). I’ve tried adding hot water to the oats and letting them soak for a bit (or I bet just warming any liquid that is being used would work), which does seem to help. I haven’t tried them for classic overnight oats, but I’ve really been liking cooking the whole groats in the instant pot for 1 minute with a little extra water. When it comes down from pressure I throw in some of the rolled oats with the water still warm and let it cool down covered. By morning they are soft enough and have soaked up enough water that they are okay, but it seems some heat is necessary. Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up that they are a bit different than normal oats. I really can’t wait to see how you like them and how they like you! They ship super fast so I expect a report by the end of the week ;) And Linda I really hope they could work out for you too!

          • says

            Thanks for the note on cooking the oats, Sarah! I’ve had issues with uncooked oats so I will definitely cook the new ones.

          • says

            Sarah, the oats are amazing!!! I am beyond thrilled (and my husband is too) that the oats are so delicious and neither one of us have had any reactions. I am basically in love with the oat “rice” from the company, not to mention the standard rolled oats. I also bought the creamy oat cereal or whatever they call it, but I haven’t made that yet. I’ll do a dedicated blog post soon so everyone can learn about this amazing product. Thank you soooooo much for sharing this great resource!

          • Sarah says

            Oh my gosh Carrie, this make me SOOOOOO Happy :) :) The groats have been my favorite too! I can’t wait to read about your experiments with everything! I want the world to know about them as well so I am so glad you’ll be able to spread the word! Yay. This really made my day :)

  4. says

    Oh great recipe! I’m going to try this out this week. I have amaranth, but I don’t use it very much. I should use it more, rotate my gf grains more. And thanks for including the stovetop method =)
    It has been very warm here too (not as hot as where you are mind you). I’m enjoying it… but the drought has me concerned :/
    Enjoy your long weekend!

  5. Paula says

    Hi Carrie
    It sure has been COLD here in WI. I am going to try this for breakfast. Usually I have been eating berries (black or blue) and a banana w/ almond butter, but I am ready for something warm. Besides, my natural health Dr has put me on a gluten-free diet since she feels I might have hashimoto’s thyroiditis and this recipe fits the bill!!

    • says

      Oh yes, Paula, do give it a try. And, way to go with your doctor recognizing the possible connection b/w Hashi’s and gluten…mine never said a word until I got the nodule which then turned out to be cancerous. I only went gluten-free b/c I started getting hives after eating wheat a few years ago. It turns out, eating gluten-free isn’t that hard for me; there are so many other options. Good luck and stay WARM!!!

  6. Oly Jacobsen says

    Oh, I have amarenth in the cupboard, so will try this tomorrow morning, since it’s around freezing point here in Denmark :-)

      • Oly Jacobsen says

        Carrie, I liked the porridge, had to get used to the taste, but then I thought it was a very good alternative.
        On my bag it said 1 part amarenth to 2 part almond milk, so I did that, and cooked it for 20 minutes, and it was perfectly cooked. Thanks!

        • says

          Oh good, glad to hear it, Oly. That’s interesting that there is so much variation with cooking amaranth. I’m glad you liked it. It is a little bland and my husband didn’t like it very much, but I really enjoyed the texture.

  7. says

    I haven’t made porridge out of amaranth for ages! This recipe definitely inspires me to try it again soon. Thanks for linking it up to Minimal Ingredient Mondays, I’m featuring it this week :) Hope to see you back soon!

  8. says

    Carrie, I was going back and reviewing your pressure cooker recipes and remembering your trails when starting to use one. Have you mastered the techniques of cooking with out oil in the pressure cooker? What has been your take on that? Especially with beans, can it be done without the oil to prevent the foaming? Sorry, a touch off subject. Thanks for your input, trying to decide if to invest in one or not.

    • says

      Hi there, thanks for the note. You’re right, I have had a real issue with learning how to use the pressure cooker. But, to be fair, I rarely use it anymore except for cooking very simple dishes like this one or beans. As far as beans go, I find I do not need oil as long as I don’t overfill the pot. I do use pre-soak my beans, though, as well as cooking them with kombu. I think the kombu really helps prevent the foaming. If you are going to invest in a PC, I’d recommend one of the more inexpensive electric versions.

      • Julie says

        Hi Carrie,
        I made this this morning in my regular pressure cooker (non-electric) and when it should have started to steam, it spewed forth the milk and amaranth out of the seal. I let it cool down a little and peeked inside to see that the amaranth had covered the top steamer gadget not letting out any steam and thus, the seeping out the seal and gasket. So I removed all the mixture into a pot and continued cooking the conventional way and it turned out delicious. My question is this, what kind of pressure cooker do you use and have you made this is the kind that goes on the stove? I would like to continue to make this, but not sure how to on the stove with a regular PC.

          • Julie says

            It is 8 quarts. I did not double the recipe. Everywhere I read online it says that I must add oil or butter in order to keep the foam down. Do you have an electronic PC or a conventional one? Do you put oil in your grains?

          • says

            Hi Julie. Nope, I do not add oil to my PC. I must say that I am still a novice, though, at using it. I have both a stovetop and electric PC, but for this recipe, I use the stovetop one.

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