A few years ago when I was visiting the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania, I fell in love with a breakfast cereal they were serving. It was so delicious and the perfect breakfast for someone with a vata dominant constitution like myself! Vata dosha is made up of the elements of air and space and so an ideal breakfast is one that is warm, moist, sweet, nourishing and grounding. This cereal was like music to my soul. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but it was different and had a creamy and slightly sweet taste.
I asked the chef and she said it contained a special grain: Amaranth. I had heard of amaranth but never cooked with it. I wrote down her instructions and as soon as I got home went in search of this unique grain. Her recipe was a little complicated because it required grinding the grain down a little more finely, mixing it with brown rice and cooking it a long time.
Recently, I started using amaranth again, except this time I cooked it alone. It only takes 20-25 minutes and it comes out super creamy and it’s truly the perfect breakfast cereal. It can be difficult to find and its a lot more expensive than other grains. A 25 oz package is about $9. You may have to search at specialty natural food stores or order it online.
As serendipity would have it, it was featured on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new series, Chasing Life when he visited Bolivia. He asked a local chef whose restaurant uses a lot of amaranth in their creations, which grain was more nutrient-packed, quinoa or amaranth? She said hands down, amaranth. It has a combination of vitamins and minerals like none other.
Amaranth has been cultivated for approximately 8000 years, beginning with the Aztecs. It’s gluten free, a complete protein and has all of the essential amino acids. It’s very high in minerals and high in fiber.
Eating a varied diet, particularly eating grains other than corn and wheat which we are so accustomed to, is part of maintaining healthy digestion and nutrition. Give this unusual grain a try for variety and dietary diversity!
Here’s to Your Health & Wellness,