Unusual Gluten Free Grains Amaranth Amaranth can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient dense thickening agent. Amaranth flour is used in making pastas and baked goods. It contains no gluten so it is difficult to make loaves of bread with it. It is much better for flatbreads, pancakes and pastas. Sprouting the seeds will increase the level of some of the nutrients and the sprouts can be used on sandwiches and in salads, or just to munch on. Soak amaranth overnight in pure water before cooking to inactivate enzyme inhibitors. To cook amaranth boil 1 cup seeds in 2-1/2 cups liquid such as water or half water and half stock or apple juice until seeds are tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Adding some fresh herbs or gingerroot to the cooking liquid can add interesting flavors or mix with beans for a main dish. For a breakfast cereal, increase the cooking liquid to 3 cups and flavour with cinnamon and some chopped seeds and nuts. Amaranth has a "sticky" texture that contrasts with the fluffier texture of most grains and care should be taken not to overcook it as it can become "gummy." Amaranth flavor is mild, sweet, nutty, and malt like, with a variance in flavour according to the variety being used. Amaranth keeps best if stored in a tightly sealed container, such as a glass jar, in the refrigerator. This will protect the fatty acids it contains from becoming rancid. The seeds should be used within 3 to 6 months. Amaranth seed is high in protein (15-18%) and contains respectable amounts of lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are not frequently found in grains. It is high in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and its iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk. Using amaranth in combination with brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as fish, red meat or poultry. Amaranth also contains tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period. Amaranth consists of 6-10% oil, which is found mostly within the germ. The oil is predominantly unsaturated and is high in linoleic acid, which is important in human nutrition. The amaranth seeds have a unique quality in that the nutrients are concentrated in a natural "nutrient ring" that surrounds the center, which is the starch section. For this reason the nutrients are protected during processing. The amaranth leaf is nutritious as well containing higher calcium, iron, and phosphorus levels than spinach. Millet Millet is a good source of the minerals phosphorous, manganese and magnesium. You can use millet as a substitute for rice. Cooked millet can be served as a breakfast porridge to which you can add your favorite nuts and fruits. Always soak millet overnight before cooking to inactivate enzyme inhibitors. Serves: 2-3 1/2 cup of millet 1 1/2 cups of boiling water or vegetable stock 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil/ pumpkinseed oil/ golden linseed oil pinch of sea salt Soak the millet overnight in pure water. Drain and wash millet. Put millet in a dry pot on medium heat, and stir until dry and gives off a nutty scent. Remove pot from heat and pour in boiling water or stock. Return pot to minimum heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork and stir in your choice of the above oils and a bit of sea salt. This replaces rice as a side dish and has a nice, mild taste. Quinoa Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. This makes it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake. Quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. It is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous. It has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Always soak quinoa overnight before cooking to inactivate enzyme inhibitors Quinoa Pine Nut Pilaf Ingredients 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 2 large onions, chopped 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil 1 red or green pepper 1 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoons ground coriander 2 cups quinoa 3 1/3 cups water 1 tbs chopped fresh basil 3 cups fresh or frozen peas, black pepper to taste Serves: 8 Soak the quinoa overnight in pure water. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on an unoiled baking sheet and toast under a medium grill for 2 minutes. Set aside. In a heavy saucepan, saute onions and garlic in oil for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add pepper, cumin and coriander; continue to saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While vegetables cook, place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well under cold running water for 12 minutes. Add rinsed quinoa and water to saucepan, cover tightly and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in basil and peas, and cook 5-10 minutes longer, or until quinoa is tender. Stir to fluff it, add salt and pepper to taste and top with toasted pine nuts. Serve hot with the sauté vegetables. Buckwheat Buckwheat is not a type of wheat and contains no gluten. Buckwheat is also ground into flour, available in either light or dark forms, with the darker variety being more nutritious. Buckwheat flour can be combined with other GF flours in baking and is especially good for pancakes. You can also buy buckwheat pasta in health food stores. Unroasted buckwheat has a soft, subtle flavor, while roasted buckwheat has more of an earthy, nutty taste. Its color ranges from tannish-pink to brown. Buckwheat is often served as a rice alternative or porridge. Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of magnesium and dietary fiber. Buckwheat contains two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions: rutin and quercitin. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.