Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Amaranth Squares

I had a bit of spare time today for experimenting with a grain that is new to my cupboards - AMARANTH.
For those of you who are gluten free, you may well know and eat it already. A cup of cooked amaranth grains contain 9g of protein, which is one of the highest amounts for gluten free grains. It is also a complete protein, a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acid and full of vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin B, calcium, iron and zinc). 
I chose the full grains as opposed to the flour, mainly because you can pop them like popcorn! Teeny tiny popcorn! During my day, I tend to snack on nuts and fruit but sometimes you just need to mix it up and try out a new idea. At the moment I am loving hazelnut butter and coconut so I thought I would combine the two. Here is a recipe for amaranth squares:
Un-popped grains
  • 100g amaranth grains
  • 3tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 3tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp. hazelnut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 5tbsp date syrup (or agave)
  • 5tbsp coconut oil (measure then melt)
You'll need a pan with a lid for this recipe, otherwise it could get messy! Set up a dry pan on a fairly high heat - you can test it with a drop of water (if it dances on the surface then you're ready to start popping!).
The grains need to be popped one tablespoon at a time. I made the mistake of burning my first batch! It will only take 10-15 seconds to pop each batch. Remember to put the lid on quickly and put the popcorn in a bowl along with the desiccated coconut and sesame seeds.
Popped amaranth grains
Once the grains are ready, melt the coconut oil in the warm pan. Add the date syrup and hazelnut butter once the oil has melted and stir into the grain mixture. If you feel the mixture is too dry then add another tablespoon of nut butter or date syrup.
Use some baking paper to line the inside of a baking tray (I used a 8x12"). Scoop out the mixture and press it in firmly. Leave to set for at least an hour - you can put it in the fridge or freezer to speed it up. Cut into squares and enjoy!


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