Day 80 Popped Amaranth Peanut Butter Cups (you’ll want to open this)..

Posting this recipe I found on a website for this grain that you can pop. Before I get into the background of this “seed” (which you guys are going to thank me for.. okay well thank whoever posted it.. but still).. I am going to say that I will recap today at a later day.. I usually rush posts when it comes to feelings (because who wants to admit we have those…….. lol).. but this time set me back a little bit (mentally, so ultimately physically).. but I did want to get this recipe out there because this is AWESOME.

Amaranth Seed-

Several species are raised for amaranth “grain” in Asia and the Americas. This should more correctly be termed “pseudograin” (see below). Amaranth grain contains no gluten and is safe to consume for individuals with coeliac disease.

  • Its seeds are a good source of protein. Compared to other grains, amaranth is unusually rich in the essential amino acid lysine.  Common grains such as wheat and corn are comparatively rich in amino acids that amaranth lacks; thus, amaranth and other grains can complement each other.
  • The seeds of Amaranthus species contain about thirty percent more protein than cereals like rice, sorghum and rye. In cooked and edible forms, amaranth is competitive with wheat germ and oats – higher in some nutrients, lower in others.
  • To this day, amaranth grains are toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses or chocolate to make a treat called alegría, meaning “joy” in Spanish

Amaranth seed, when properly prepared, may supplement human food. Scientific studies suggest Amaranth grain is a good source of essential amino acid lysine, something other grains are low in. Amaranth is not a complete source of essential amino acids. For example, amaranth is limiting in leucine and threonine – essential amino acids that are abundant in other grains. Amaranth may therefore be a promising supplement to other grains.[15][16] The assimiability of protein in Amaranth is affected by the anti-nutritional factors present in Amaranth, and how it is processed and cooked prior to human consumption. Wet heat processing reduces toxic factors and improves protein availability from Amaranth, while popping and toasting reduces nutritional value of Amaranth.[16] Besides protein, amaranth grain provides a good complimentary source of dietary fiber and dietary minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.

Amaranth seed flour has been evaluated as an additive to wheat flour by food specialists. To determine palatability, different levels of amaranth grain flour were mixed with the wheat flour and baking ingredients (1% salt, 2.5% fat, 1.5% yeast, 10% sugar and 52–74% water), fermented, molded, pan-proved and baked. The baked products were evaluated for loaf volume, moisture content, color, odor, taste and texture. The amaranth containing products were then compared with bread made from 100% wheat flour. The loaf volume decreased by 40% and the moisture content increased from 22 to 42% with increase in amaranth grain flour. The study found that the sensory scores of the taste, odor color and texture decreased with increasing amounts of amaranth. Generally, above 15% amaranth grain flour, there were significant differences in the evaluated sensory qualities and the high amaranth-containing product was found to be of unacceptable palatability to the population sample that evaluated the baked products.

So.. I am SUPER excited to mess around with this grain. Check out this recipe for Peanut Butter Cups:

Popped Amaranth Peanut Butter Cups
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
yields 12 large cups

Ingredients
1 cup all natural peanut butter {I used crunchy}
2 T butter, melted*
1/2 c powdered sugar*
1/2 c crushed salted roasted peanuts
heaping 1/2 c popped amaranth*
3/4 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method |  Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and peanuts, then mix until combined. Pour in popped amaranth and mix again until combined. Next, grease muffin cups with non-stick spray and fill bottom of cups with chocolate chips – it doesn’t have to be exact. Melt in the oven for 5 minutes. Then, with the back of a metal spoon carefully smooth out the top of the chips while they’re still warm. Next, drop generous spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture into each muffin cup. Smooth tops with the back of a spoon or your fingers and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before eating. I froze mine so they’d pop out easier with a knife. Store in an airtight container in the fridge to keep fresh.

*Notes:

  • To pop amaranth, place a medium-to-large pot over medium-high heat and let it get fully hot. Then, add small batches {scant 1/4 c} of amaranth, cover the pot, and quickly shimmy the pot back and forth. They’ll start popping almost immediately and as soon as you don’t see anymore popping {about 10-15 seconds total} quickly transfer them to a bowl. These can burn quick so be sure to work fast. Your first batch may not turn out but use it as a practice run to gage how you can pop most efficiently.
  • Melted butter is probably optional if you want to lighten these up. Or you could likely sub melted coconut oil.
  • Powdered sugar could be lessened or even omitted entirely if you want a less sweet cup. Just compensate with extra amaranth.
  • Use non-dairy chocolate chips and Earth Balance to make these vegan.

When done properly it comes out looking like puffed rice cereal, which can then be doused in milk, eaten by the handfuls or added to rich, decadent peanut butter cups. Pretty sweet, right?

I thought so.

The flavor is astonishingly similar to Reese’s PB Cups. If you wanted you could even add another layer of chocolate on top to get them closer to the real thing. But I preferred the peanut butter tops exposed. It gave them a more rustic look and I could taste the saltiness from the peanuts as soon as they hit my mouth.

This entire recipe/blog post was NOT written by me.. nor were the pictures taken by me.. but they looked soooooooo fucking good. I believe it was posted by http://mylittlecelebration.com

Anywho.. enjoy this recipe while I suffer for 2 more weeks..

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