Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gluten-free, Vegan Cream of Amaranth Cereal

Probably everyone has their fall-back foods.  You know, those foods or ingredients that you always have on hand.  Those products that you can rely on when you don't know what you're going to put together for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

For a lot of folks who eat from a more limited range, rice has been filling a lot of holes.  Dairy-free folks like the more hypo-allergenic nature of rice milk.  Gluten-free friends might eat rice pasta, rice crackers or bake with all-purpose flour blends that rely on rice.

And though it's kind of a 70s stereotype, vegans really do eat a lot of rice and beans.

Now, there's news that there might be issues with rice.  Arsenic issues, to be specific.  The FDA is working on guidelines for acceptable levels of arsenic in food, but they won't be ready for a while.  Consumer Reports found higher than expected levels of arsenic in all rice products that they tested.  There are tons of resources out there that can explain the situation better than I can, so I'll leave that to the experts. 

 For some ideas about how to limit the arsenic in your food, you can start with the Environmental Working Group (a source I trust) and Dr. Vikki Petersen, another strong voice in the allergy/nutrition community.

What have we been doing in our house?  We still eat rice, but we're also following the guidelines that suggest diversifying our grains.

Not only will that limit our arsenic, it will increase our consumption of other good-for-you foods.  Kinda like making lemonade out of lemons, right?  (If you're tossing those lemons into a quinoa salad!)

Our breakfast this morning highlights one of these changes.

Vegan, Gluten-free Cream of Amaranth Cereal
Cream of Amaranth Cereal Before Adding Coconut Milk

I made a Cream of Amaranth porridge instead of serving a rice-based cold cereal.  We served it up with coconut milk beverage instead of rice milk.  Easy peasy changes, and really delicious. (For more on amaranth, check out this post.)

This porridge is quite versatile.  It would work well with any of the fixin's you usually serve up with your oatmeal.  (How about Hemp Heart Oatmeal or Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal?)

Have you made changes to your diet because of the news about rice and arsenic?  

I shared this recipe with Wellness Weekend, Allergy-Free Wednesday and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Cream of Amaranth Cereal
Makes 4 servings

1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
maple syrup or other sweetener to taste
sprinkle of cinnamon
coconut milk beverage to taste 

Combine amaranth and water in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  
Simmer for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Let sit for a couple of minutes.
Spoon amaranth into bowls, drizzle with syrup, sprinkle with cinnamon.
Add desired amount of coconut milk beverage and stir.

Happy Cooking!

Find more tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.

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  1. I like to partially grind the seeds in my blender and then cook then. It comes out creamier.

  2. I think you make a great point – we need to keep up diversity in our diets. The whole moderation thing. :)

    Thanks for a sweet alternative to rice pudding. Chia seeds would be good in here!

  3. Miachel, I agree that chia seeds would be really good. I think hemp seeds would add a nice texture contrast, too.