This post is in partnership with The National Milk Life Campaign. See below for more details.
I think one the hardest things to do when you have a baby is to tune out everyone else. There is advice, stories, and everything in between. It's easy to get your hopes up or your fears churning, just by talking to one person. I was good at tuning most of it out but of course, I still had my hopes. For one, I hoped the baby weight would magically fall off of me (because that's what I heard). The weight did drop but by week three, I had stalled and I was some distance away from my pre-baby self and I stayed that way for a few months.
To say I was disheartened is an understatement because I had heard this fact to be true from numerous sources. Given my past struggles with weight, I found it really easy to beat myself up over the slow weight loss. Eventually, after the dust settled down from the first few months, I've found a rhythm and my old relationship with food:a lot of vegetables, not so much sugar, and a good breakfast. I've shed a few more pounds and already am starting to feel like my healthy self again.
One of the things I found that helped was making sure my breakfast was solid and full of protein. Many experts now recommend getting 25-30 grams of protein at meals, which includes breakfast. I developed three recipes for milklife.com that, when paired with a glass of milk, had 30g of protein (one of which is this amaranth porridge). I don't count calories/watch the stats but I know when I get a solid amount of protein in the morning, I feel awesome.
One of the questions I get a lot of about being a vegetarian is "how do I get enough protein without eating meat?" The great thing is, there's so much protein in things beyond meat. Dairy happens to be one of those things. Milk, cottage cheese, greek yogurt- all contain a good amount of protein which is especially important to kickstart your day. It takes a little creativity, but protein is obviously still important in part of a vegetarian diet (and I do rely on milk for some of my protein which provides 8g of good-quality protein per cup). For more on how milk’s protein can help at breakfast, be sure to pop over to milklife.com and see the infographic.
I know I still have a bit of a battle with my weight, but it helps when I have the right tools and knowledge. It just takes time, perseverance, and occasionally indulging.
Amaranth Porridge with Roasted Pears
To aim for 25-30 g of protein, be sure to pair each serving of amaranth porridge with an 8 ounce glass of milk!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- ½ cup uncooked amaranth
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup 2% milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 large pear
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- Pecan/Pear Topping
- 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400˚.
- Drain and rinse amaranth. Combine with one cup milk, water, and salt. Bring amaranth to a boil, and reduce to a simmer (all the way to low.) Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes until the amaranth is soft but there is still some liquid left. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 to 10 more minutes to thicken amaranth. Add a bit more milk to thin the texture out if desired.
- Toss together the 1 teaspoon maple syrup with the pecan pieces. Roast until the pecans are toasted and the maple syrup has dried, 10 to 15 minutes. Pecans will become quite fragrant when done. Pecans will crisp as they cool.
- Along with the pecans, dice the pears and toss with the remaining 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and spices. Roast in a roasting pan for 15 minutes, until the pears are tender.
- Stir in ¾ of the roasted pears in the porridge. Divide yogurt into two bowls and top with porridge, roasted pecans, and the remaining pear pieces.
A note about fat content: The recipes I developed can be made with lowfat/fat free milk, for the same nutrients but reduced calories and fat. Use the dairy you feel comfortable with.
|| This post is in partnership with The National Milk Life Campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It's post like these that help me keep the site up and sharing awesome vegetarian recipes.
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings says
I have been in love with millet porridge lately and this is a great twist. The pear topping makes it full of fall flavor. Will try for sure!
Love your blog, I have your second cookbook. One thing that has been hard is teaching my three daughters to eat healthy as they sit amid a sea of junk food in the cafeteria (elementary school and high school ages). Also they are so beautiful and strong, yet they look in the mirror and say "am I fat?" I just try to remind them how healthy they are now and how that will continue as they get older. I give them sweets, but mostly homemade. Thanks for all the ideas here.
When I first discovered amaranth I didn't know what to do with it, such a strange grain (is it a grain?). But when I first made it as a porridge I loved it. Yours version of it sounds delicious.
[email protected] says
Now I know what I could do with the puffed amaranth I just bought! Would this work with puffed amaranth do you think?
Thanks for the recipe and all the best with the new bub!
No it won’t 😃 you can’t cook puffed amaranth , just add to yogurt or eat with milk etc.
Ahhhhh this is so gorgeous, Erin! That golden porridge on that blue background - stupid pretty. I've been way into amaranth lately but have yet to try it in a porridge. I can't wait to try this one! Also, I've been in a more-vegetarian-than-usual phase right now and find myself binge-eating cheese... maybe this porridge will help. 😉
Fox Kitchen says
Amazing! I've tried millet porridge but not amaranth, I bet that it will taste really nice.
Bella B says
I have never tried anything like this but it looks very tasty!
Dr. Jennifer Weinberg MD MPH MBE says
I love this fall-inspired way to use a different breakfast grain to mix up the oatmeal and quinoa! Thanks for the inspiration. Pinning to share 🙂
I'm not a vegetarian, but our breakfasts would often qualify. Getting enough protein is very important to me, so knowing that this dish is high protein (with the added milk) makes it one I'm interested in trying.
Barbara (BarbB) says
Amaranth is something new for me to try. Thanks for the delicious recipes, Erin.
Dear Erin, thanks for this beautiful recipe. I have a love-hate relationship with amaranth: while I like the popped seeds, I never managed to find a recipe for the "grain" itself that would win me over. I will try this, because pear and amaranth sounds like a winner. You're always my greatest inspiration for healthy recipes. On a different note, try to forget about the post baby weight! I know it is hard, but think about it as a trophy: you have a gorgeous baby! Just keep eating healthy and exercise and some pounds will go, and for those that may stay, just love them until they keep you company.
This looks really yummy! I will definitely try it out! 🙂
Looks great! Can you make it ahead? How do you store it and do you reheat it or eat it cold?
Honestly I've never made it ahead- I always find porridge best right when cooked. I bet you could make it ahead and reheat it with a bit of extra liquid (I think would work- never tried!)
I made mine yesterday, made sure to make it a little bit more watery than I like it, and just stuck all the components in a tupperware without stirring, in the fridge. Then this morning I just stirred and ate it cold. It's really good cold. Just the right consistency too.
everybody go make this right now! Because I'm eating it right now and it's fantastic.