Perfect Fall Breakfast: Amaranth, Apples, and Dried Cherries

Posted by: on Oct 24, 2014 | One Comment

Amaranth headerWay out here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, fall has taken hold. The temperatures have settled into the 50s and 60s and the wind has kicked up. It’s absolutely lovely. Last Saturday, we used the gorgeous sunny warm day as an excuse to take the boat for a final spin. The tide was high around noon and it was calm enough to ride from the wharf to the mouth of the creek. The Bay was choppy so we didn’t venture further. The sun kept us toasty in the wind and the cover on the bow of the boat saved our toes. It was a satisfying and even welcome farewell to boat weather. We used our boat so much this season, we don’t mind putting it away for a few months. Although, I’m certain come March I’ll be itching for warm weather and dips in the salt water.

The wind and new moon brought the tide higher than normal this morning!

The wind and new moon brought the tide higher than normal this morning!

 

While I have been chilly in the mornings (okay I’m almost always chilly), wearing long sleeves and legwarmers for my morning yoga routine, the temperatures have been agreeable…as long as I have enough layers on. It’s been cool enough that we are already sleeping under the down comforter and I pulled my bin of winter clothes out of the attic. We did have one morning register at 37 degrees, by far the coldest to date. I had high hopes that morning temperature would kill off the fruit flies and the ticks… neither seem daunted yet. I’m pretty sure they (the ticks at least) have conferences on how to be the most diabolical creatures on earth. I took an unexpected romp through the woods at work yesterday and fell prey to one of their plots.

legwarmers

Purple pants and frilly lace legwarmers get me moving in the morning! #whateverittakes

Stormy fall weather on the Chesapeake Bay yesterday. This is near where the tick found me.

Stormy fall weather on the Chesapeake Bay yesterday. This is near where the tick found me.

The leaves have not overwhelmingly changed colors yet. However, every now and then on a walk through town or on my drive to work, I see a lone maroon or orange tree showing off. It’s spectacular.

Even in this relatively temperate fall weather, I find myself craving and gravitating toward hot cups of green or herbal tea and warm cereal breakfasts. I also have to admit I fall prey to the pumpkin frenzy of the season. I’ve always loved the fall excuse to eat apples and pumpkins like they are going extinct. However, I try to satisfy these cravings without eating my weight in pumpkin cake. Therefore, I’ve been enjoying home-brewed chai with pumpkin puree and coconut milk, pumpkin puree smoothies, hot apple cider, and hot cereal.

green tea

I had to have a second cup of green tea while writing this morning!

This morning I had green tea and amaranth with coconut milk, apples, and dried cherries. I have only cooked with amaranth once before. But it has a sort of earthy (dirt) taste that I find appealing and appropriate for fall. With the sweetness of coconut milk and fruit, the earthy flavor mellows a little and provides a nice contrast. Amaranth is not a true cereal grain. It belongs to a different family but has long been used in a manner similar to true cereals. It also has a similar nutrient makeup, including high levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. However, it also has vitamin C. It’s protein content outstrips other grains in percentage and in completeness (all the amino acids).

Amaranth Breakfast Cereal with Apples and Dried Cherries

Serves 4

1 cup amaranth
2 medium-sized apples (I used a Honeycrisp)
Small handful of dried tart cherries for each bowl
Coconut milk
A little local honey or sweetener of your choice

Add 1 cup of amaranth and 3 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. The ratio of grain to water is 1:3. So, if you just want enough for one person, like I did this morning, cook 1/4 cup of amaranth with 3/4 water. Turn down to a simmer and let cook until it’s the consistency and texture you like. I cooked it until the water was gone and it was porridge like. Spoon into your bowl, add a few spoonfuls of coconut milk, the diced apples, and tart dried cherries. Drizzle a little honey over the top if you want it a little sweeter. I used canned coconut milk. It has fewer ingredients than the boxed kind and it’s much creamier. The boxed milk seems to be mostly water. You can also use cow’s milk if you are into that kind of thing. Then find a cozy chair and snuggle up with a warm breakfast and beverage.

Amaranth

1 Comment

  1. Beth
    October 30, 2014

    Very interesting! I had never heard of this before. Gosh, you live in such a gorgeous area. Very lovely. All the leaves are gone here and one afternoon, we had some half-hearted flakes come down. Otherwise, it was a gorgeous fall. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

Leave a Reply