I gravitate towards the savory breakfast, even to the point of eating leftover dinner in place of waffles, pancakes, or sweet porridges. However, sometimes my sweet tooth gets the best of me. Luckily, I can make a mean bowl of breakfast porridge and amaranth is one of the ways to my sweet-breakfast heart.
I absolutely adore amaranth for both the grain and in floral arrangements. When growing, it’s colorful and definitely and eye-catching addition. Yet, the grain, in terms of cooking, doesn’t quite get the same love.
Amaranth takes a little know-how. It’s similar to quinoa in that it’s actually a pseudo-grain or better known as a seed. It does not, however, cook up like quinoa. Amaranth, if cooked like any other grain, becomes a bit gummy.
Amaranth has a higher level of amylopectin, a main component of starch. This component creates a slightly more gelatinous texture to the cooked grain; think sushi rice versus long-grain rice. The creamy feel of cooked amaranth lends itself well to porridges and polentas. There are ways to use amaranth in more traditional grain ways, it just takes an extra step.
I try and stick with only fruits and vegetables I can source locally but I occasionally love a good banana dish. It also helps that we almost always have bananas around thanks to a child who had a mild obsession with them for some time.
Of course, if you wanted to stick to something you could buy at the farmers market, try peaches, apples, or pears. I like all of these options for cooking in the butter/sugar mixture. You could also just load this amaranth porridge with fresh berries and call it good.
Making it vegan
This one is easy. I actually prefer this porridge with non-dairy milk such as almond or oat. Same goes for the cream on top. As for the butter, you could use coconut oil or my friend Emma recently introduced me to Miyoko’s vegan butter. It’s actually really good and a solid 1:1 for dairy butter.Print
Banana-Pecan Amaranth Porridge
A hearty, whole-grain porridge using amaranth and milk (easily vegan with non-dairy milk). Top with the bananas or try your own topping with whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 filling servings 1x
- Category: breakfast
- Method: stove-top
- Cuisine: international
1 cup uncooked amaranth
1 ½ cups whole or non-dairy milk
1 ½ cups water
Pinch of Salt, if using unsalted butter
3 tablespoons butter
2 just-ripe bananas
2 tablespoons muscovado or brown sugar
Pinch of Salt
Cinnamon for topping
Cream, for topping
¼ cup pecan pieces, toasted
- Heat a pot over medium-low heat. Add the amaranth and toast for about a minute. Any longer and you risk the amaranth starting to pop (a fun activity but not what we’re going for in this recipe).
- Add in the milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 25 minutes or more, stirring occasionally. It will look like the porridge isn’t thickening but it will happen quick towards the end.
- While the porridge is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low. Cut the banana into ¼” to ½ “ thick slices and place in the pan with the melted butter. Cook for a minute or so. Add in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook until the sugar begins to caramelize the bananas, about 2 minutes or so. You want the bananas to cook just long enough to be soft but not lose their shape.
- Once the porridge and bananas are done, assemble the bowls. Divide the amaranth into two bowls and top with bananas, a sprinkle of cinnamon, cream, and a sprinkle of toasted pecans.
- I like to toast my pecans in the pan before I make the bananas. Simple add to the heated pan and shake until fragrant and starting to darken slightly. Remove from the pan and return to heat for the bananas.
- A little amaranth goes a long way. The serving size for amaranth is ¼ cup dry but I tend to eat a sizable breakfast.
- The old recipe called for soaking and while there are schools of thought that this is a must for every grain, legume, nut, and seed. I prefer the flavor of amaranth that has been toasted (which isn’t really feasible unless you soak, dry, then toast- a process I’ve yet to master timing for).
Keywords: amaranth porridge
Pas de Deux Blog says
Erin, I am glad you were able to get out into the woods, and even more glad that you are sharing incredible recipes like this one!
I totally agree with you about how angry/upset articles like the one about Walmart make me feel--angry, but also somewhat helpless as to how I can really make a difference... Can one person choosing to support small farmers really make an impact? I'd like to think so!
Just love that first shot. I adore amaranth but haven't tried eating it like this. Looks spectacular!
Liz DellaCroce says
I've been wanting to try amaranth! Sounds delish!!
Natasha Steinberg says
I've never had amaranth, but I am quite the fan of porridge generally, so I'm sure I would love this. I think a good breakfast is great healer. I try to eat something fulfilling and nourishing every morning. It's amazing how great it makes me feel the rest of the day!
Lovely photos and recipe! I think music has so much healing in it as well as the absence of. I know that sounds weird, but sometimes we just need to turn everything off and just be.
Becky Rosenthal says
What a beautiful post. Going for a hike or snowshoe is often my place of sanctuary as well. Then I wonder, why don't I do this more often. It is always so good for my soul to just get out in the mountains away from the city and breath fresh air. Next time I'll have to pair it with this yummy porridge!
Simple and beautiful!
Lovely! I have a jar of amaranth in my cupboard right now that I always forget about...may have to dust it off for weekend breakfast!
Oh my goodness this looks SO delicious. Tasty treat for breakfast! I can't wait to make this.
This is a really inspiring post. I agree with you on every level. I go hiking very rarely and regret that I don't. It feels so refreshing and cleansing to come back with a clear head and to top it off with this delicious breakfast. What could be more nourishing. I know what I'll be making for my Sunday breakfast. Thank you and have a lovely weekend!
Regina @SpecialtyCakeCreations says
This porridge looks like my perfect breakfast comfort food 🙂
All right, amaranth is on top of my shopping list next time I go to the organic food shop! I can't wait to try this recipe, I'm a huge fan of anyhting-porridge and it looks absolutely fabulous!
I so miss that feeling you describe when you're out in the woods, Erin. I'm so far from nature these days, and I miss it terribly. Glad that I, at least, have good inspiration for healing foods. (PS. You've mentioned Ted Talks before, so I started listening - totally hooked!)
Q- Can I use milk instead of water (for the boiling part)?
Katie @ Produce on Parade says
Wow, this looks delicious! Perfect for a chilly weekend morning 🙂
thanks for sharing this, I loved reading your blog and identified completely with your mood swings and emotional rollercoaster, part of the female genetic makeup I suppose. I loved watching the virtual choir and have shared it with my friends on facebook. will look out for your blog and send you a virtual hug when you feel down!!
Gem McLeod says
It's mid-winter here in New Zealand and I have totally been living off of porridge! I'll definitely have to add this one to my repertoire! Gem x
Tara Nair says
I am so happy that my curiosity for amaranth recipe has lead me to this post via Google search. I am in love with the write-up, photography and simplicity in the blog design. I will check in more recipes and I know, in no time I will be subscribing to your valuable content.
Into the woods is indeed a great escape. Like in your case amaranth calms you down, in my case the work is been done by oats so far. But I am so much willing to try amaranth now... it is always good to have options when you want to be in silence 🙂
1st time cooking amaranth and I am so happy I chose this recipe. I do not like any warm oatmeal but I was wanting something warm in the morning that gave me a protein punch. Will make again!
Only substitutes I did was coconut oil instead of walnut oil, and hemp milk instead of almond. Thank you!
Amaranth recipe at its best. Furthermore, its vegan!
Great recipe! The most important thing I've learned from it is that amaranth is best if it's toasted first, and that requires a lot of liquid (1 cup amaranth to 3 cups liquid) and quite a long time (25 minutes simmering) to cook. I love all grains and eat them all for breakfast as porridge: first cook grain in water and then add milk. No salt, no sugar or butter added, maybe some chopped bananas and nuts added, and it tastes great to me. Especially buckwheat since I come from the former Soviet Union!
Toasting amaranth was fun, partly because I've overtoasted it a tiny bit and some of the kernels started to pop which resulted in tiny tiny white balls. This grain cooked up great and thickened quite well. But, the flavor of it on its own wasn't the best. I've only added some salt and nothing else, because I never do for other grains. I did toast it, but then I've had it sitting in a glass jar for a few years, so it could be that it got old and tastes bad because of that. I still ate my porridge and felt full and satisfied without feeling heavy. I might buy some fresh amaranth and try this again, but I suspect it's not going to be my go to grain for morning porridge. Buckwheat is still my favorite!