23 June 2014

Amaranth Granola

Have you ever bought amaranth grains? Those tiny gluten-free seeds you may have thought quinoa-like (but soon realized they aren't). A package of a new grain can be a little intimidating. I'm not really a porridge girl and amaranth grains when cooked, look too slippery for me. Luckily, there's more to the amaranth story. Just follow the Mexicans! Alegria is a Mexican treat of amaranth and syrup where you pop the seeds before coating them with a cooked sugar mix and setting them up like bars. While that's next on my list, I wanted something even simpler this go-around. What if I popped the seeds and tucked them into my coconut oil granola recipe in place of some of the oats? This granola, just a curve down the road from this granola, is a nice little change-up, not to mention vegan and gluten-free. It's also a piece of cake to make, and a nice way to kick off the week.

About popping that amaranth. My best advice is to actually follow the back of the package. At first I was swirling the pan a lot. Then I noticed the instructions more clearly. Hot pan, cover tightly. That's moreso the key. In 30 seconds, get it out of there to prevent burns. Then you're good to add it to your oats and nuts, maple and coconut oil and bake it off long and low. I added chia seeds too and a kick of ginger. It's nice have something a bit different than your standard granola. I loved the crunch of this and it's great over yogurt. 

Amaranth Granola

~3 Tbsp raw amaranth*, popped to 1/4 c
1/2 c rolled oats
1/4 c sliced raw almonds
1 tsp chia seeds
Pinch ground ginger
1/8 tsp sea salt
Scant 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Handful dried fruit ( I snipped some dried cherries, raisins in half with a few dried blueberries)

*to pop: set a wide skillet on high heat for a moment. You want a hot pan. Add a small small amount of seeds, under a tsp at a time, and cover. Withing 30 seconds most of the seeds should pop. Move the pan around a little over the burner in circles and immediately transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining amaranth, a little at a time. Set aside to cool.

Oven to 300. Line a baking sheet with parchment 

In a bowl mix popped amaranth, oats, chia, almonds. Stir together salt, ginger, oil and maple. Pour over oat mix and stir will to combine. Dump every last bit on the the parchment and bake 15 minutes, sir, then stir every 10 minutes until granola is crisp and nicely browed, about 5 stirs or 55 minutes is what I prefer. Leave to cool completely on a rack. Stir in dried fruit, and store airtight. Enjoy!

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