Amaranth flour is recognized as a valuable product of grain processing of the plant, which in ancient times acquired the glory of the “gift of the gods”, “not forever vanish,” “food of immortality.” This is due to the presence in the amaranth of a large number of useful substances and the absence of such vegetable protein as gluten. The latter immediately becomes an advantage when choosing flour for the production of products that can suit people who are forced to follow a gluten-free diet. Further detail about the role of amaranth flour in nutrition and health promotion, and, of course, you can choose recipes to cook at home “something tasty” with its use.
The benefits of amaranth flour
The growing interest in amaranth flour immediately becomes clear after turning to statistics. According to WHO data, every hundredth person suffers from hypersensitivity to one of the types of vegetable protein – gluten. For such people there is a certain problem with the formation of the diet, especially if the list of culinary preferences includes baking. Gluten is contained in the composition of such cereals as wheat, oats, barley, rye, and at the same time, in wheat, which is most often used for baking, gluten is up to 80%.
In addition, gluten is absent in amaranth flour, there are many substances in it, without which the vital activity of the organism would be impossible. So, according to the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 g of amaranth contains:
• water – 11.29 g;
• proteins – 13.56 g;
• fats – 7.02 g;
• carbohydrates – 68.55 g;
• dietary fiber (fiber) – 6.7 g;
• ash – 2.88 g.
The plant also contains B vitamins, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, as well as macronutrients, and among them most of all phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, trace elements (iron, manganese, copper, selenium, zinc).
Many researchers focus on protein, in which here the amount of lysine exceeds wheat protein. Amaranth also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, as well as other beneficial substances. The rich composition of amaranth and products from it help to quickly deal with almost any disease. Amaranth products and products benefit from problems such as:
• heart attack;
• arterial hypertension;
• angina pectoris;
• disorders in the urogenital system;
• risk of developing a tumor.
Of course, to solve such problems, serious treatment is necessary, but the use of amaranth and products from it makes this treatment more successful, and a positive result is achieved faster.
Several proven recipes
Some of the most popular cooking recipes with amaranth came from India. Indeed, in this country amaranth has been grown for more than two thousand years, and dishes from it have become traditional in the national cuisine. For example, in Uttarakhand, where important pilgrimage centers are located, vegetarian food predominates, and amaranth is often used for cooking. According to one of the recipes of Indian cuisine, you can make spicy low-calorie scones. They are tasty, healthy, nutritious and low-calorie, so you can eat them even if you need to follow a diet.
Ingredients for making Indian cakes:
• whole grain amaranth flour – 200 grams;
• mashed potatoes – 100 grams;
• chili pepper – 2 pieces;
• cumin, cilantro, coriander and salt;
• a little melted butter.
The required amount of amaranth flour is poured into the bowl, mashed potatoes, ground pepper, cumin, chopped cilantro leaves and salt to taste are added to the mashed potatoes. The resulting mass is better to first mix in a semi-dry form, and then add a little water and knead the elastic dough. Then you need to lubricate it from all sides with oil, put it on the bottom of the bowl, cover with a lid and leave for 10-15 minutes. During this time, all the ingredients will come to the desired state, and the taste of chili pepper will be evenly distributed throughout the dough. After the dough is infused, it is divided into three parts and rolled into a ball shape.
Now we lay out the foil on the table, lubricate it with oil, and roll each ball here so that they all turn out to be round and equal in thickness. If the dough starts to stick to the rolling pin, it is recommended to grease the dough with oil.
It is necessary to fry flat cakes on a well heated dry frying pan. So that they do not stick to the pan, lubricate the bottom surface with oil, and before turning it, oil the top side with oil. Each side must fry for 2-3 minutes.
Served cakes are hot, because, cooled, they lose some of the taste.
Lush and fragrant muffins on amaranth flour can be prepared not only for themselves but also for guests. In addition to amaranth flour (3 tablespoons), other useful ingredients are needed for this dish:
• walnuts – 4 tablespoons;
• pumpkin seeds – 4 tablespoons;
• cardamom – 3 pieces;
• carrots – 2 pieces;
• chicken egg – 2 pieces;
• brown sugar – 1.5 tablespoons;
• one lemon;
• baking soda – 1/2 tsp.
Walnuts, pumpkin seeds and cardamom must be ground to a state of flour. To the resulting mixture add amaranth flour, as well as pre-cleaned and grated carrots on a small grater.
Then separate the whites from the yolks and beat them until stable peaks. Add sugar to the yolks and rub until mashed with a light shade, add grated carrots.
Remove the lemon zest and squeeze the juice. Add the flour into the carrot-egg mixture, mix, add the juice and chopped lemon zest, soda. Then, with careful movements, add whipped proteins to the dough, and at the same time stir the dough from bottom to top. The resulting dough is distributed in molds and sent to preheated to 160 degrees oven. Muffins are baked for 30 minutes.
Cheese cakes based on amaranth flour are perfect for a healthy and tasty breakfast.
• cottage cheese – 250 gr;
• 1 chicken egg;
• amaranth flour – 5 tablespoons;
• oatmeal – 1/2 cup;
• vanillin to taste.
Cottage cheese should be put in a bowl and mash it with a fork, add egg, amaranth flour and vanilla. All ingredients are mixed so as to make a thick dough. After that, it is necessary to grind oatmeal. We make koloboks from cottage cheese dough and roll them well in oatmeal. We put the prepared doughballs on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and put the oven in preheated to 180 degrees. Bake cheesecakes should be within 25-30 minutes. It is recommended to serve them with honey, jam or sour cream.
On the basis of amaranth flour, you can make delicious chocolate chip cookies. In the recipe below, among the ingredients there is tapioca – starch, which is obtained from the roots of the plant. It is rich in choline, which is important for normalizing cholesterol levels in the blood, and B vitamins necessary for the nervous system to work. The composition of tapioca also contains phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and these substances help to strengthen the bone and cardiovascular systems, normalize blood pressure, remove excess fluid from the body. Tapioca is practically free of fat and gluten, so it is suitable for baby food and for people with gluten intolerance.
So the ingredients are:
• butter (softened) – 8 tablespoons;
• brown sugar – 0.5 cups;
• sugar 0.4 cups;
• vanilla extract – 1 tsp;
• eggs (room temperature) – 1 piece;
• rice flour (from brown rice) – 1.25 cups;
• amaranth flour – 0.65 cup;
• tapioca (starch) – 0.3 cups;
• sea salt – 0.5 tsp;
• baking soda – 0.25 tsp;
• chocolate in the form of chips – 1 cup.
Butter should be put in a bowl, add both types of sugar, vanilla extract and mix well. Then add the egg and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix rice flour with amaranth, add tapioca starch, salt, soda, and mix everything. Pour the dry mixture into an oil-egg mixture and beat well. The result should be a smooth consistency. Add chocolate chips to the dough and stir.
The resulting dough is moved to baking paper, giving it the shape of “sausage” about 5×30 cm in size, wrapping it in baking paper and removing it for 1 hour in the fridge. After that, cut the dough into 1 cm thick circles, move them to a baking sheet laid with baking paper at a distance from each other.
We put the baking tray with the future cookies in the oven preheated to 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Ready cookies should be allowed to stand for 5 minutes on a baking sheet, after which it can be removed and served for tea.
Gluten-free halva is enjoyed by many sweet tooths, because it is not only tasty, but also healthy, does not cause allergies and does not add calories. In this direct preparation of halva with the addition of amaranth flour does not take much time.
• walnuts – 150 grams;
• amaranth flour – 180 grams;
• water – 100 grams;
• sugar – 300 grams;
• vegetable oil – 1/2 cup;
It is necessary to fry whole walnuts in the pan, which should then be crushed by hand or on a coffee grinder. Amaranth flour should be fried until a uniform golden color appears and mix it with nuts.
Pour sugar into the water and cook syrup over medium heat, remove it from the stove and immediately add oil and vanillin. All ingredients are mixed so that the oil is dissolved in the syrup, and then add them to the mixture of nuts and amaranth, and very thoroughly mixed until a homogeneous mass.
We take parchment paper, lubricate it with oil, and spread the mass on the parchment with a spoon, give it the desired shape and put it in the fridge until it hardens.
In this recipe, you can replace walnuts with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, other nuts, a mixture of different seeds and nuts. Such halva, despite the fairly high sugar content, does not harm the figure.