AMARANTH , FOXNUTS AND OATS PORRIDGE



                                                                            




Amaranth , foxnuts and oats porridge is a delicious  way of having a totally satisfying power packed breakfast . By adding foxnuts / Lotus seeds / makhana and rich nutrients of amaranth also called Rajgira gives a densely nutritious start .

Amaranth also known as Rajgira in India  comes from variety of spinach greens family .
Called as Dantina soppu or Hirve soppu in Kannada , known as araikeerai in Tamil , the seeds are harvested as amaranth grains or cereals for its other uses in making snacks , energy foods , flours and in a variety of culinary uses .

Named after the Greek word amarantos which means one that does not wither , the colorful amaranth flower buds stay vibrant even after drying . Amaranth is therefore a true powerhouse known to prevent a no .of chronic health conditions like diabetes , heart disease , cancer and stroke .

Amaranth seeds or grains when popped makes excellent snacks as popcorn and can be made into tasty bars mixed with dry fruits and nuts. Amaranth muesli is a great way of adding more to the healthy bowl .It is easily available in most stores throughout the country and also on line . 



Ingredients 


1/4 cup quick cooking oats 
1/4 cup amaranth cereals ( popped )
1//4 cup makhana or lotus seeds
Some slivers of almonds
Pinch of cinnamon powder
1 tbsp native palm jaggery 
3/4 cup milk
Some chopped seasonal fruit of your choice .


Method 

Take a pan and heat the milk . Add the oats to cook lightly . 
Add the lotus seeds / foxnuts , add the amaranth popped seeds. 
Keep flame on low, stir well, add the chopped nuts and the jaggery.

Do not heat for more than 2-3.minutes to keep a good creamy texture .
Remove from flame and let cool .
Serve with chopped fruits .


Pic of popped amaranth grains 



Puffed Amaranth grains mixed with nuts , raisins 




Bowl of puffed amaranth seeds with nuts and raisins , some puffed foxnuts and strawberries  



Ready to be served ! 






More about Foxnuts / lotus seeds / makhana 

Makhana , lotus seeds or fox nuts are said to be antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, and have immuno-modulatory activities.

They are low in fat and high in carbohydrates. Lotus seeds are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Lotus seeds are also low in sodium.

Their low sodium and high magnesium content makes them useful for those suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

These seeds contain an anti-aging enzyme, which is believed to help repair damaged proteins.

Lotus seeds are also known to contain kaempferol, a natural flavonoid also found in coffee which prevents inflammation and aging.

The glycemic index of lotus seed is significantly  lower than most high carbohydrate foods like rice, bread and others. 

It appears that lotus seeds may have a beneficial effect on diabetic individuals, and may be one of the more appropriate foods for them.

The seeds can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground and boiled .

They can then be added directly to soups, salads or used in other dishes. Puffed seeds are used in curries, kheer, puddings and dry roasted snacks.


Nutritional values of Oats.

Dietary fiber - oats are rich in a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan. This particular type of fiber is known to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. 
Oats contains manganese , selenium , phosphorus , fiber , magnesium , and zinc . Rich in cartenoids. Vitamin E  flavonoids
Oats are loaded in dietary fiber and have a range of healthy cholesterol-lowering properties.
Said to be good for heart health and lowers risk of heart attacks or heart disease .
Oats is said to be a rich source of soluble fiber .
Oats is said to be good for hyper tension .and lowering blood pressure. 
It is also said  to aid in weight loss as earring oats vibes a sense of fullness and therefore no over eating is possible .it induces a sense of satiety and no hunger pangs .

Nutritional benefits of Amaranth / Rajgira 
Amaranth / Rajgira as it is known in India is usually considered as a grain for fast or Vrat during Navaratras or Ekadashi. The flour is used in a variety of ways to make phulkas , pancakes and pooris . 
Amaranth can be traced back to Mexico  and today it is found  almost every where .
It is tall plant with broad green leaves , bright red or gold flowers and around 60 species exist .
Called Dantina soppu / harive soppu  In Kannada and araikeerai in Tamil . 
The greens come in various varieties . 
The flowers of amaranth are made up of tiny grain like buds and therefore it is often thought to be a grain while it is only a pseudo grain .It is. It technically a grain like oats , wheat or rice . Therefore it is called a pseudo cereal .
The important feature of this pseudo cereal is that it is gluten free. It can be ground to powder and used in variety of flour mixtures to make many baking dishes.
From thickening sauces , soups , stews and even jellies amaranth is a good snack option ,with its nutty light peppery texture . 

Amaranth has emerged as a great healthy grain in recent times because of its remarkable nutrition .It is higher in minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorous , and cartenoids than most vegetables . 

It has high protein content compared to that in oats  and rice . 
It is a great source of lysine an important amino acid with protein content comparable to that of milk more easily digested . 

One cup of amaranth contains 15 mg of iron while rice has only 1.5 mg .
One cup of raw amaranth contains 18 mg of fiber while rice has only 2.4 mg 
It contains more than three times the calcium , high in magnesium. 

Studies show that amaranth seeds have compounds which lower hyper tension and incidences of cancer .

So give a big thumbs up for these wonder grains and nuts along with oats . 

Google pic   amaranth plants