Amaranth: Cooked

amaranth cooked

Amaranth seeds sort of remind me of poppy seeds with their thin outer shell. It gives a nice little crunch-pop when you bite down. Adding whole amaranth to the batter of cookies, muffins, and quick breads is a great way to create interesting texture in your baked goods (and boost nutrition). Experiment with your favorite recipes by adding between 2 and 4 Tablespoons of whole amaranth seeds the next time you’re baking! (I add less for cookies and more for a large batch of muffins or quick bread.)

If you’ve never cooked amaranth before, you’re in for a real treat because this super-food super-star is unlike other “grains”  some of us are used to like quinoa or rice.

Amaranth does not absorb all the cooking liquid and become light and fluffy. Instead, it has thicker, creamy consistency. That’s because the starches inside the seeds cook out causing the water to thicken.

But don’t think amaranth is too boring to try! One bite and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the slight crunch of the seeds, even after cooking. Their outer shell becomes very tender, but never fully softens (like with quinoa), so there’s awesome jazzed up texture in every bite!

Cooked amaranth is so versatile… It can be eaten as-is, or with the addition of either sweet or savory ingredients.

For a sweet breakfast dish, add applesauce or pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to  your cooked amaranth for a protein-packed bowl of goodness that will keep you satisfied all morning long!

To create a dish with savory flair, add finely diced veggies like garlic, onion, celery, peppers, or carrots and season with your favorite herbs or spices. You’ll spark the interest of everyone at your gluten free table when you serve savory seasoned amaranth alongside roasted meats or with a green salad for a complete protein meat-free meal! I promise, you’ll have requests for more!!

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Amaranth: Cooked
(You can also see exactly how I make this recipe in my How-To Video below!)
  • ½ cup amaranth
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
  1. Add amaranth and water (and salt if using) to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Cook the amaranth for 25 to 30 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. When time’s up, remove your amaranth from the heat, uncover, then stir. It’s that simple!

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  • John

    Why don’t you have to rinse the amaranth like you do quinoa?

    • Gluten Free Gigi

      Hi, John.

      Great question!

      Quinoa seeds are coated with saponins, a naturally occurring protective substance on plants. It must be removed before cooking and eating the quinoa or a bitter taste will result. Most quinoa you buy is probably pre-rinsed. If so, it will be noted on the packaging.

      While amaranth does contain saponins (many, many plants do), the levels are very low.

      In fact, research investigating the toxicity of saponins in amaranth determined amaranth-derived products pose no hazard to consumers because saponin levels are so low. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 1999)

      So, short answer: Lower levels of saponins in amaranth versus quinoa. If you’d like to learn more about saponins in quinoa, you may enjoy another article I wrote, “Questionable Qunioa: Perfect Plant Protein or Poison?” Here’s the link:


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