Amaranth is another one of those supergrains that have Hollywood glitterati genuflecting. It has serious nutritional gravitas, rivaling quinoa as the number one seed. Think of a white poppy seed. Small, but mighty.
Amaranth has more muscle than wheat, clocking in four times the amount of calcium and twice as much iron. And with generous stores of lysine, you can kiss toodleloo to coldsores.
Not bad for half a cent per gram.
A caveat for the cook: bananas used in this recipe need to be over-ripe. Any green areas on the banana skin means they have not ripened fully and will turn the recipe bitter. Look for older bananas with blackened sweet spots.
1 cup whole amaranth, rinsed well
1.5 cups water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons maple or brown rice syrup
3 tablespoons tahini or almond butter
2 large eggs, beaten
½ litre soya, hemp or oat milk
½ cup raisins
2 very ripe bananas, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rapadura or coconut blossom sugar and cinnamon
Preheat oven to 165 C / 325 F /145 fan-assisted.
In a small saucepan with a tightly fitted lid, bring the water, salt and pre-rinsed amaranth to a soft boil. This means a gentle putter rather than a violent bubble that will blow the lid off and scare the bejaysus out of your budgie.
Cook for 15-25 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed. Amaranth is not a dry, fluffy grain when cooked. Expect something that looks like a gluey couscous. Keep on cooking until this is achieved!
While the amaranth is doing its thing, prep the rest of the gear.
Blend the maple syrup and nut butter together until smooth. Then add the eggs. Pour this mixture into your choice of milk and add the raisins, chopped banana and vanilla.
Remove the amaranth from its source of heat, stir briskly and add the milky mixture to the saucepan of cooked amaranth. Give it all a gentle stir.
Pour and scrape your pudding mix into a medium-sized pie dish, about the size of a magazine page. You’re aiming for a pudding at least 1-inch in depth but no more than 2 inches. Pyrex rectangular glass dishes give the best result for custardy puds like this one.
Cook for 40 minutes at 165 C in a conventional oven. It should wobble slightly in the centre when removed. Halfway through cooking, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Rapadura is a unique extra-fine sugar made from evaporating sugar cane juice. It is caramel in colour with a deep mineral taste to it. Find it in all good food stores. Pretty pricey, but worth experiencing.