Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunshine or Hail?

(Cute little whole grain)

Amaranth. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t until I entered the “Bastyr bubble” as we like to call it. Like quinoa, it is another ancient grain, cultivated in Mesoamerica in 3000 BC. Amaranth is actually a very small seed and is in the same family of plants as Swiss chard and beets. It is really high in calcium, which makes it a great source for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

(grated some ginger into the amaranth before cooking)

Amaranth is extremely dense and high in protein, which makes a great breakfast grain. I am doing the last of my training runs this afternoon, shooting for 6-8 miles so I am thankful for the energy that it is going to provide me. Amaranth is also gluten free, which I don’t think I have mentioned on any of the other posts, so it is suitable for those with Celiac disease or people with intolerance to wheat. Other gluten free grains include, rice, wild rice, quinoa, corn/polenta, millet, buckwheat/kasha, and sometimes oats (check the label on the package).

(This is what it looks like after you cook it)

Today I made a spiced amaranth with cinnamon and fresh ginger. I topped it off with fresh chopped mango, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and a dollop of blackberry preserves for a little sweetness. Another cool thing that you can do with this lovely little whole grain is pop it like popcorn. These little puffs can be added to salads, cereals, or just snacked on.

(All my toppings)

Okay off to study for my last two finals (tomorrow!), and then for my run. Hope it doesn’t hail like the forecast says. The good news according to the weatherman is that Sunday (day of my ½ marathon) is supposed to be the first dry day, sun up to sun down, that we have had in like 10 days. Boy, am I ready.

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