I find breakfasts this time of year pretty exciting, mainly because I can subsist on yogurt and fruit and be quite happy, and summer fruits are finally here! But I also have a little secret up my sleeve: toasted amaranth.If you're not familiar with amaranth, it's a seed that folks generally lump into the category of "whole grains" (like quinoa). It's gluten-free and especially high in protein and calcium. While many people like to make porridge with amaranth or cook it like a pilaf for a substantial side dish, I love to simply toast it in a hot skillet on the stovetop and sprinkle it over my yogurt, smoothies, or granola in the morning. The teeny tiny grains puff up much like mini popcorn. I often make extra and keep it in an air-tight jar to sprinkle on salads or soups throughout the week. A quick high-protein boost, a pretty darn delightful crunch.
How To Toast Amaranth: Heat a heavy-bottom saucepan with high edges (the amaranth will jump when they pop much like popcorn) on the stovetop until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of amaranth and stir continuously until most seeds have puffed up and turned white. Usually about 1/4 of the seeds are resistant to puffing and will turn a light brown color instead — that's OK. Remove from the stovetop before the seeds burn.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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