Friday Recipe: Amaranth (or Quinoa) Stir-Fry

Happy Friday already!  Today is much needed rest day.  And I’ll savor every bit of that, because tomorrow is 18 mile day.  Hooray!  Not so cool- my hubs is in the mountains this weekend.  b and I will certainly miss him during whatever activities we embark upon:(  We’ll get by with some new foods, though!

While researching foods containing iron for my little bean, I came across something I’d never heard of.  I’m so glad I did because it sort of seems like a well kept super food secretAmaranth.  What in the WORLD is amaranth?  It’s very similar to quinoa and farro, and as so many of them are, it’s an acient grain of the Aztecs. It’s some pretty powerful stuff.

Technically, it’s the fruit of a plant, and it’s a bit peppery in taste.  Many people choose to combine it with other foods.  What can it do for me, I wondered?

1. It helps meet our (near-complete) daily protein needs by complex carbs rather than animal protein.  Good stuff for us vegetarians or vegans!
2. It reduces hunger by reducing insulin and making it easier for the body to burn fat (natural weight loss food?).
3. It is much richer in iron, magnesium, and calcium than most grains, so it can help keep anemia and osteoporosis at bay.  (Which is also great, because I’ve chosen against giving Braxton cow’s milk.  More on that later.).
4.  It’s a huge source of fiber, mostly insoluble, which helps in reducing the risk of diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and digestive-tract conditions.
5. Amaranth is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate and riboflavin.
6. Some research has even suggested that grain amaranth shows promise in prevention of premature aging (specifically, greying of hair).  Alright, I’ll have double!

On top of all that, I found this little blurb:

Amaranth is an excellent remedy for growing children. Its juice can be given to children as a natural protein tonic since it contains all the essential amino acids such as arginine, nistidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, cystine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. A teaspoonful of the fresh amaranth juice mixed with few drops of honey can be given once every day to infants after a fort night of the birth which assures healthy and strong growth in babies.”

Damn, where was my amaranth a year ago?!

I searched my local Wegmans, and I found it in two forms- flour and to my surprise, graham crackers!  This is awesome because Braxton LOVES him some graham crackers!  They’re not as sweet as the other stuff, but he eats them up the same way- plus, they’re way better for him!  Score!

In a book I am reading about super foods for kids, amaranth is mentioned.  I couldn’t believe it!  It always seems when I hear of something for the first time, I then keep hearing about it again and again. Apparently, it can be cooked like rice, or even popped like popcorn!  I found that Arrowhead Mills has it as a grain packaged like their quinoa; I’ll have to check local natural stores (or perhaps a different Weggies) or order online for that. 

Check it out!  A Great book with awesome recipes!

This weekend, let’s all try some amaranth with our apple cider.  Or if not, just use good old fashioned quinoa for this delicious, easy, and incredibly healthy stir fry:

Amaranth or Quinoa Stir-Fry

2 cups cooked amaranth or quinoa
2 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp seasoning

Sauté veggies, garlic, almonds and seeds in the oil until vegetables are tender crisp. Add soy sauce, seasonings and amaranth or quinoa. Mix well until warmed through.

Maybe I’ll have some of this waiting for Bri upon his arrival home…along with some oatmeal raisin cookies- his favorite!! :):)  Don’t worry Babe, I’ll make them with sugar and butter and eggs again- just the way you like them;)



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