Polished amaranth grain is one of the most versatile and therefore sought-after products from amaranth. It can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it goes well with main dishes and allows you to prepare a light snack. It is nourishing and at the same time soft, so it can be cooked with salt, spicy seasonings, sour sauces, and with sugar or sweet additives – unlike, say, buckwheat. It contains in a noticeable quantity a number of elements necessary for a person, which puts it one step higher than similar croup, but less useful croup, such as, for example, semolina. What are these elements and what are their benefits, what are the disadvantages of amaranth cereals, how is it made and what can be done with it – we will look at this review.
Polished amaranth cereals: manufacturing process
Amaranth grain is produced in industrial conditions from amaranth grain. Grains for cereals that are suitable and useful for humans are obtained from special amaranth grain varieties that differ from others:
a) a higher protein content than grain from other varieties of amaranth (17-19% against 13-16%);
b) a higher fat content, which is actually amaranth oil;
c) often – a lighter shade compared with the grain of feed varieties.
If we compare the groats from high-quality varieties of amaranth grown on the grain and varieties growing in the wild conditions, the first one will be more oily in taste (the oiliness is best felt when the groats are soaked). Since amaranth fat is one of the main values of this plant due to the content of rare squalene and more common vitamin E, poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids, such cereal should be considered more beneficial to humans.
Polished amaranth grain is made from just such grains – amaranth grains of high-olive varieties. These varieties are grown in compliance with the standards of agricultural production, under the supervision of supervisory services. Wild amaranth for the production of cereals is not used.
The process of making ground grain from amaranth consists of several stages:
Stage cleaning. After harvesting, the grain is cleared of impurities – residues of green mass and other things.
Stage peeling. The grain is cleaned from the hard shell, which encloses the core of amaranth – the most useful part of it. The shell is almost entirely composed of human fiber that is indigestible (not harmful to humans – it is simply not absorbed due to excessive rigidity), so the grain does not lose any useful properties.
Grinding stage It implies the removal of the seed membranes, aleurone layer and embryos from the nucleus. Also in the process of grinding, the remnants of the hard shell of the grain are removed, and the core is given a marketable appearance.
Theoretically, the grinding stage can be avoided. The seed coat, the aleurone layer and the embryos are quite edible, contain a considerable amount of protein and are absorbed by humans. (True, it is necessary to stipulate here that they are not shown to people with a sore stomach due to high biological activity.) Actually, high biological activity is due to the fact that, in aggregate, these elements are a complex from which a new plant grows. Simply put, the seed coat, the aleurone layer and the embryo are responsible for the reproduction of the culture, and if they are not removed, they simply germinate. On the one hand, amaranth grains, capable of germinating and even germinated, are quite edible and even beneficial. On the other hand, they are impractical: it is worth putting the cereal in a slightly raw place – how it will start to grow. To prevent such incidents, it is polished.
IMG_8878In addition, in the process of grinding, particles of a hard shell that are left after the peeling stage are removed. Surely, many met with unpleasant hard pieces, similar to dried seeds, which happened to be in soft porridges and did not improve the impression at all. Here that in porridges there were no extraneous tasteless elements, grinding is applied.
Amaranth grits are polished using different grinders, which differ in everything – from grinding technology and the elements necessary for this to the time of release. The quality of grinding in each case, of course, is also different. Qualitatively polished amaranth grain can be distinguished from poorly polished, simply in appearance. At the previous stage, in the process of peeling, scratches appear on the core of the grain of amaranth, made by a flying hard grain sheath. The technology of grinding and polishing of these scratches completely eliminates, gives the kernel of the grain almost spherical shape, makes it smooth and flowing. This is a quality polished amaranth grain.
The product in question is responsible for the characteristics, namely:
- “rolls over” easily in closed packaging;
- easy and smooth fray;
- strongly rolled on a smooth surface.
According to these parameters, one should choose high-quality amaranth cereals, if polished is required, that is, if there is no intention to germinate it.
As for the cereals in question, the kernels of the grains are almost the same in size and shape, smooth and not flaky. No extra particles were found during the cooking process. But, by the way, cereal comes in a transparent package, so that the absence of impurities can be seen immediately, even before the start of cooking.
Amaranth cereal dishes: cooking features
From amaranth cereals you can cook different dishes. First of all it is, of course, porridge.
Amaranth groats are physically small round grains, slightly larger than poppy or even about the same size. Despite the rather high stiffness in its raw form, due to its size it is IMG_8864 cooked very quickly. Soaked for several hours (for example, left overnight) in the water, the croup is boiled soft to dry in 2 minutes. Fans of harder porridges can never brew amaranth in boiling water, thereby retaining more of its useful properties, but pour the soaked cereal into water heated to about 60 degrees and bring the temperature to 80-85 degrees for 4-5 minutes. After this time, the amaranth will be soft enough to feel its taste.
You can do without macerating. Cooking dry amaranth will take slightly longer – about 4 minutes.
When cooking amaranth, it is important not to be mistaken with the proportions of liquid and grits. Otherwise, porridge has every chance to burn, because due to the very quick cooking of the cereal, the cook does not have time to think about whether to add more water or not, and if you add how much.
If you want to cook a thick, dense porridge, then 50 g of amaranth will require at least 200 ml of water, and the first time it is better to take 250 ml – in order to avoid excessive density when overeating the porridge on the fire. For a more liquid porridge 50 g of amaranth will need 300-400 ml of water. Of course, it all depends on the cooking time: amaranth absorbs water very quickly, and during long cooking it evaporates in greater quantities, therefore IMG_8893 if you need very soft and liquid porridge, say, for a sick person, then it costs 5-6 minutes to cook , and water will need a half to two times more than indicated above.
Amaranth cereals are consumed sparingly: breakfast for one moderately active woman who consumes 1500-1800 calories per day will require 20-30 g of amaranth cereals. 50 g of amaranth is a rather large portion, which is hardly suitable for dinner and will be relevant only with a hearty breakfast or as a component of lunch.
In addition to water, amaranth can be boiled in milk. Proportions are highly dependent on the desired result. Thick and relatively hard porridge will require amaranth and milk in a ratio of 1: 2.5 or 1: 3. Milk in such a mess will be felt in the background, giving the taste of amaranth, but only. If you want to cook porridge, in which the milk will be felt more clearly or just liquid milk porridge, for example, for a child, then the ratio of cereals and milk should be about 1: 4.
Amaranth porridge with milk is a fairly nourishing and fatty dish (although it depends, of course, on milk fat content), so you can take even less amaranth for it – up to 25 g per serving, if something else is added to the porridge.
About supplements. You can add some sugar to your milk porridge; for porridge on the water and suitable salt and sugar. But the beauty of amaranth is that, especially in milk, it can do without sugar and salt. Of course, for taste you have to put something: milky amaranth porridge can be supplemented with a small amount of walnuts, dried apricots, prunes or raisins. Fruits and berries such as apples, kiwi, oranges, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, etc., are excellent for porridge on water with no salt and sugar in it.
Also amaranth cereals are successfully used in dietary soups. Dietary – because among the abundance of other ingredients in the soup amaranth is lost. And being used in combination, say, only with mushrooms, onions and carrots, it is quite noticeable, and besides, it is useful and satisfying. You can add amaranth in dietary meat soups: for example, it is great for a light chicken soup.
It is necessary to fill up the cereal in the soup no earlier than 1-2 minutes before the end of cooking. She donated herself after turning off the fire in the still hot soup. However, for some time, at least twenty minutes, the soup should be left under the lid on the hot plate, and not immediately served.
Two more options for the use of amaranth cereals in cooking – frying or baking amaranth porridge, already cooked. These are less dietary options for using the cereals in question, but they are more satisfying and can diversify the table. To get an original dish in this format, you need to boil a thick porridge on the water and make it into pellets or balls with additives to taste.
For fried flat cakes suitable: salt, finely chopped vegetables, chopped poultry meat. Before hot tortillas need to roll in flour. Fry over low heat for about three minutes on each side.
Baked balls or tortillas of amaranth porridge, unlike roasted, can be any – even salty, even sweet, and the porridge can initially be made fresh. If you want to cook a salty, fatty, more nutritious dish, then you can add finely chopped raw vegetables to porridge and mix with vegetable oil (sunflower, amaranth, pumpkin). For sweet cakes or balls, in addition to sugar, unground dried fruits and nuts are required. And if salt and sugar are canceled due to their harmfulness, then a variety of finely chopped fruits, jams, as well as the nuts and dried fruits already mentioned can be used to add flavor, but this time it is better in a ground form. Bake for 5-7 minutes at a temperature of 140-150 degrees.
Among other things, cheesecakes are prepared from amaranth: it is small enough to replace semolina relatively successfully. The principle is the same as in the preparation of traditional cheesecake.
The advantages and disadvantages of polished amaranth cereals
Summing up, we will look at specific merits and demerits of the product, which we hope will help our readers to finally determine whether this cereal is suitable for them or it is better to pay attention to other options.
The advantages of ground amaranth cereals
Saved about 80% of the beneficial properties of amaranth. Many grasses and seeds of herbaceous plants lose up to two-thirds of their beneficial properties during industrial processing and transformation into cereals (for example, buckwheat when roasting, rice, etc.). When turning into ground crumbs, the amaranth does not undergo any procedures that are excessively destructive from a biological point of view, and therefore it retains practically everything that is useful in the plant itself.
A large number of elements necessary for the human body, namely:
Protein: amaranth is one of the leaders in protein content among croup (up to 19%).
Squalene: amaranth is not just a leader among plants in terms of squalene content (up to 10% in fats), but one of the very few plant sources of this substance in the world.
Other beneficial fats: phospholipids and other unsaturated fatty acids are present in amaranth (omega-6, a little less – omega-3). The total amount of unsaturated fats in 100 g of amaranth is 4.47 g, which is about 1/5 of the daily norm.
Vitamin E: this vitamin is almost always adjacent to these fatty acids in plants, and therefore is present in amaranth in an amount of about 10% of the person’s daily requirement.
Vitamins of group B: their total amount in an amaranth makes about 3 mg or about 20-25% of daily allowance.
Minerals: in amaranth grain there is potassium (508 mg per 100 g), calcium (159 mg per 100 g), magnesium (248 mg per 100 g), phosphorus (557 mg per 100 g) and other useful elements (in a slightly smaller amount ).
Thrift. 1 kg of polished amaranth cereal is enough for 33-40 servings, that is, more than a month, if you eat it every day.
Satiety. A small portion of amaranth porridge from this cereal due to the large amount of dietary fiber and fat will provide a feeling of satiety for an hour and a half and will not provoke hunger for 3-4 hours.
Versatility. You can make very different in taste and type of food from ground amaranth cereals – sweet, salty or no additives at all (which is suitable for people who are losing weight or sick, trying to reduce the amount of sugar and salt consumed), you can add almost any other healthy foods to them. fruits, dried fruits, nuts, milk. Even with a daily amaranth breakfast, porridge will not get bored if you use it as it allows.
Quickly cooked. Preparation of amaranth breakfast with all the water heating, additions and mixing takes 8-10 minutes.
Well kept. Since polished amaranth grain passes through several stages of purification, there is nothing left in it that could contribute to the appearance of insects, growth and other unpleasant phenomena. It is enough to put it in a more or less dry place with a positive temperature: the croup is picky.
The disadvantages of polished amaranth cereals
When grinding lost nutrients. The above-mentioned several stages of purification and non-fastidiousness in storage also have a downside: during the manufacturing process, some protein is removed. Actually, the seed coat, the germ and the aleurone layer almost entirely make up those 20% of the useful substances that are lost in the process of turning seeds into croup. In addition to them (or rather, along with them), some vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus are lost.
The product is very small and smooth, so it can deliver some conveniences in the cooking process: it is easy to crumble, almost always remains in a small amount on the surfaces of the containers in which it was prepared, etc.
Like any other cereal, it requires supplements: boiled amaranth porridge without water is absolutely fresh and can hardly be used as even a very dietary breakfast. However, here it already tastes the color.
In general, amaranth cereals gain in comparison with many other common cereals, primarily due to their beneficial properties, and secondly, due to their versatility and speed of preparation. Neither buckwheat nor rice will manage to make the same wide range of dishes, and more versatile oatmeal and semolina are much less useful and poor in composition. Thus, the choice of polished amaranth cereals, among others, seems to be quite justifiable – and in any case, it should be considered as an alternative to those already bored.
Be healthy and eat tasty – with amaranth!