I'm a huge word dork. I could happily pass the time by typing in words at dictionary.com, piecing the puzzles of word origins together.
Around 12 years ago when I was in high school, I attempted to read the dictionary in search for words with intriguing etymologies or useful definitions. I even took notes. I think I made it up to J before I found better things to do.
One of the words I remember writing down was "amaranth," whose etymology and definition is "a flower that never fades." Doesn't that sound heavenly? I connected the word to the seed/"pseudograin" while working at a health food store during that time, so I got to try it out. Amaranth cereal was delightfully nutty, and the grain cooked up like teeny tiny bites of couscous.
This morning, I woke up to snow. By February most Mainers are disgusted by the white powder; I on the other hand find joy in how everything looks fresh with a cozy blanket of snow. The cold wintry weather made me yearn for something warming and sweet to bake. I originally wanted rice pudding, but then remembered the jar of amaranth I had waiting for me in the pantry. I thought about how this "flower that never fades" would make a delightfully textured pudding that would fade from the baking dish pretty quickly. Paired with my last cup of almond meal and a mixture of heat-inducing spices, I was right.
Amaranth is a winner nutritionally -- it's higher in protein than rice or wheat, and contains a surprisingly complete array of amino acids not usually found in other grains or seeds. It's also high in iron, phosphorous, manganese, and fiber. No wonder it was a staple grain of the Incas and Aztecs. Paired here with almond meal, this dessert packs a protein punch.
Spiced Almond Amaranth Pudding - Vegan, GF, Cleanse Friendly
- 1/2 cup amaranth seeds
- 1 cup almond meal or almond flour you could use coconut if you were feeling tropical
- 2 1/2 cup almond milk or milk of your choice
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 drops vanilla liquid stevia
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of allspice