Fall Amaranth Porridge

October 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

In my family, we have a tradition of giving fruit trees as birthday gifts. I seem to be the most consistent participant in these exchanges. I’ve been on the receiving end of a an Asian pear tree and a pomegranate tree. My mom has a persimmon tree, and I just recently gave my dad an avocado tree – we have yet to see whether avocados can really thrive in the Bay Area.

I’m not sure how this tradition developed, or how I became one of the central participants. Neither of my sisters have been on the receiving end of a tree gift! Maybe I just loved fruit more than the average kid? I know that Asian pears and pomegranates were among my favorites from a young age. Or maybe it was because I used to spend a lot of time climbing fruit trees? When I was four and five, I would spend hours and hours perched in a fig tree in front of our house. The fig tree died a few years later – hopefully not as a result of my climbing – but I’ve never forgotten how much I loved that tree.

However the tradition began, it’s a great one. There aren’t that many presents that stick around year after yea! I guess if you weren’t a fruit lover, it would be an odd gift choice, but for me, I can’t think of anything better!

As for this recipe, I fallen in love with amaranth porridge. Before I first tried amaranth, my main porridge experiences revolved around oatmeal, and oatmeal always seemed so mushy and unappealing. I started to believe I just wasn’t a porridge type of person. Despite this, I was inspired to try this recipe when I first saw it it, and I was far from disappointed. Amaranth is less mushy than oatmeal, high in protein, and completely delicious with traditional porridge toppings.

This recipe combines the persimmons from my mom’s tree with farmer’s market figs (I wanted to say “with the memory of my childhood fig tree,” but that is just way too sappy). The persimmons have just become ripe enough to eat, and will keep getting sweeter and sweeter for the next few weeks!

Amaranth Porridge with Figs and Persimmons (adapted from Lucid Food)

Serves 4 (moderate serving size)

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup amaranth grains

Toppings

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Fuyu Persimmon, stem and leaves cut off, sliced into thin wedges*
  • 4-6 figs, stem removed, and sliced into 8  thin wedges each
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Splash of cream
  • Dash of nutmeg

* Remove persimmon seeds as you come across them, but don’t worry if you miss one or two.

Place amaranth grains and water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease to low heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed and porridge thickens.  Remove from heat, and divide among bowls. Top with toasted walnuts, brown sugar, persimmon, fig, and milk. Add a splash of vanilla and cream to each bowl, and a dash of nutmeg if desired. Serve immediately.

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