Amaranth & Farro

Farro on the left, amaranth on the right.

Heh – sounds like a hipster band name.

Recently, my sister-in-law was talking about how much she loved farro, and I was reminded of my own history when it comes to varied, whole grains. I was also reminded of how much I’ve been slacking on practicing what I preach.

So, I finally bought farro, and tried out the amaranth already in my pantry. Both take a little longer to cook than oats or quinoa – it’s more like making brown rice or millet. But, they’re easy, and making it simple for me to broaden my grainy horizons.

First, the amaranth. These grains are super tiny and take at least a half an hour to soften to my liking. I think I’ve been using too much water, resulting in a kind of mush rather than a fluffy pile. Oddly, I’ve discovered that mixing the warm grains with salsa and lime juice makes a lovely dip for organic blue corn chips – at least, I find it super satisfying.

Second, the farro. Since my sister in law mentioned she likes it as a warm breakfast cereal, I decided to sub it for my usual rolled oats. It actually works really well as the base for my usual egg and grain breakfast (note: I now drop a raw egg into the cooked oats, turn the heat as low as it can go, and cover for maybe five minutes – one less step). I’ve also mixed it with diced zucchini, summer squash and tomato sauce for the little one.

What’s the point? Culinary and nutritional diversity. I’m not one to cut grains out of my diet, but I do think we might rely a little too heavily on wheat and corn in the typical stateside diet. Further, it’s interesting to eat grains not in a bread or pasta form, but as they are harvested, like little berries to be cooked gently over a flame.

I’m always glad when I try a new whole food. Even better when the food is affordable, non-perishable and filling. This week, it’s amaranth and farro FTW.

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