Last week I posted a photo of a Amaranth breakfast Congee on Instagram. Lots of folks were keen for a recipe as these ancient grains can be tricky to prepare. As many of my recipes are in the moment, I went back and did a fresh one just for you guys.

The thing with these ancient grains such as Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Millet, Brown Rice + even wild rice varieties is that they are served by a nice long soak in filtered water with a nice splash of ACV (apple cider vinegar) or Kefir water, or even whey to help them ferment.

If you can’t do that, at the very least pour boiling water over them and let them sit for an hour, but really a bit of planning is so much better. The end result tastes better, cooks more quickly and will be easier on the digestion.

The other goodness that I have worked with for a while is cooking the grains in a herbal tea base. Here I have used our own ‘Alchemy 36 Soothing Tisane’ as the base, as it has so much good medicine, though you can use what ever suits you or just plain water. Steep the tea well before you start.

This amaranth breakfast congee will freeze well in portions, just add more liquid when you reheat.
The Goodness:

3/4 cup amaranth

1/4 cup quinoa

1-2 tsp of ghee or coconut oil

1/8-1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt

1/8-1/4 tsp turmeric

900 ml herbal tea of choice, strong brew or water (approx)

splash of apple cider vinegar

MANDARIN SYRUP

1 cup mandarin or orange juice

2 Tlb coconut sugar or syrup

TURMERIC PEARS

1 Pear chopped in nice chunks

sprinkle of turmeric

sprinkle of pepper

1 tsp heaped of ghee or coconut oil

MAKING THE GOODNESS

Making the Goodness:

  • Cover the Amaranth + Quinoa with filtered water and add a splash of ACV, soak the grains overnight at room temp.
  • Drain in very fine mesh sieve, and rinse well.
  • Melt ghee or coconut oil in heavy based pot, the wider the better as I think more surface area cuts cooking time.
  • Add drained grains, they should sizzle. Dry them out well, so there is no moisture (this is key), and they will even start to cook.
  • Add spices, cooking them enough so the spices are fragrant.
  • Add 1/2 the liquid and stir well, bring to simmer over medium to medium high heat, it really depends on your stove –  let it bubble slightly, cover and stir occasionally.
  • It’s kind of like cooking a risotto
  • Once the majority of moisture has gone, add the rest of the liquid stir it through, bring to simmer and cover again.
  • Once the liquid has been absorbed it should become creamy.
  • Taste the grains, if it is still too nutty for you add more liquid, stir, cover etc until it is to your liking.
  • If it starts to stick as it is quite starchy just don’t scrape the bottom of pan, stir gently with the silicone spatula.
  • Once you are happy, take off heat, cover and let rest while you cook the syrup.

The Syrup:

  • Reduce the juice and sugar over a medium heat until it has thickened. It will be thicker once it cools.

The Pears:

  • Melt the ghee/coconut oil in a solid fry pan then add pears over medium to medium high heat.
  • Sprinkle spices over and keep shaking the pan to ensure the pears are coated in the fat and the spices.
  • Keep an eye on them, they will soften up and caramelise quite quickly, and don’t require water unless they start to stick. This will depend on your pan.

A little tip on pots and pans  : I use German Silit ceramic pots, they are heavy duty and extremely wonderful, actually can’t recommend them enough. I currently have a few Baccarat non stick chefs saute pans in main rotation while I am building up the seasoning on the best pan ever out of Australia, a saute pan from Solidteknics.

While the outlay on these pots and pans can be high, they are very good quality and will last for years and years if treated well.