For many years, we were unencumbered oatmeal enthusiasts. Oatmeal wasn't just a breakfast food in this house; it was an institution. So, when Mariam was diagnosed with celiac and oats had to go out the door (along with so many other things), there was a bit of trauma. I know that the oat question is a controversial one in gluten-free land, and that many families choose to continue incorporating oats into their diet provided that they are certified gluten-free. I don't want to ruffle feathers per se, so I'll just say that we don't take this approach, primarily because of emerging research that suggests that oats themselves create an immune response in people with celiac disease that is similar to the one triggered by gluten, and that this is true even when the oats are "gluten-free." Also, our gastroenterologist said not to touch them. So there it is.
Eliminating oats has left an odd hole in our family breakfast routine. Oatmeal used to be an easy and popular option for all of us; one of the few breakfasts that we would generally all like to eat together. Mariam and Dan have found solace in eggs and corn tortillas, but since baby Z is allergic to eggs, I can't go that direction myself. In the last couple of weeks, I've happened upon a new solution to the breakfast foods conundrum. Amaranth. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it earlier, but it is pretty much perfect. A warm bowl of amaranth porridge with a bit of coconut milk and some maple syrup. Not a bad breakfast at all, actually.
Move over, oatmeal.
Amaranth Breakfast Porridge
1 cup amaranth
4 cups water
a pinch of salt
maple syrup and coconut milk to taste
Begin by combining the amaranth, salt, and water in a small saucepan with a lid. Allow it to come to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium-low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the water is absorbed. It will be a consistency similar to oatmeal or porridge. Add more water if needed to get the desired texture. Spoon into bowls and top with coconut milk and a bit of maple syrup.
This will keep well in the refrigerator for the better part of a week and can be easily reheated on the stovetop with a bit of extra water to get it back to a smooth consistency.