Amaranthus (or amaranth) is a gluten-free grain-like seed that looks like bird food and is a reason for mockery when your flat mates decide to show it to their guests at a dinner party. Despite being a source of complete protein (it contains all the essential amino-acids in needed proportions), it’s use is not very popular, perhaps understandably so, given that it has a very distinct flavor which can be hard to pair. I personally find it a good match for sweet, rich flavors, such as caramel or nuts. In the wintertime, a bowl of it with a spoon of peanut butter and a banana was a regular breakfast of mine, and I made it this morning because a) my parents fruit bowl looked exactly like the Velvet Underground and Nico cover b) the weather in Poland is a far, far cry from what I got used to in Milan, so I needed a serious hug from within (on a scale of creepy from 1-10 I hope this expression doesn’t go above 6). You can swap the fancy seed for unroasted buckwheat (that will keep the porridge gf) or for oatmeal, but an attempt with millet proved disappointing.
Amaranth Porridge with Banana and Peanut Butter
For the porridge:
50g / 4 tbsp amaranth (seeds or flakes)
⅓ cup milk of choice (I used almond)
⅔ cup water
sugar, to taste
1 small banana
1 tsp peanut butter, heaped
1 tsp chopped peanuts
2-3 tbsp milk (I used almond), preferably hot
Mix the amaranth flakes with milk and water in a small sauce pan, add the salt, bring to the boil and lower the heat to very low and cook until the seeds turn translucent with a ring of white on the outside, about 5 minutes. The longer you leave the pan on the heat, the thicker it gets. If using seeds, count around 20 minutes cooking time.
Transfer the porridge to a bowl. Slice the banana, arrange on top. Add the peanut butter. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. You can add sweetener, but I went for an extra pinch of salt. Finish with hot milk to melt the peanut butter.