• 8

    Servings

  • Prep Time 15'

  • Total Time 35'

  • Gluten-free

  • Nut-free

Amaranth and green lentil patties

  • 8

    Servings

  • Prep Time 15'

  • Total Time 35'

  • Gluten-free

  • Nut-free

Some of my fondest memories of my grandma are the times we spent in the kitchen together. She was an amazing cook and even as a young girl, I could sit for hours and just watch her. I was fascinated by everything she did, I jumped on any opportunity to help her out and learn more about what she was doing. Every year around the holidays she would make these amazing meatballs. I was known to steal them straight off the pan and eat them before they had even cooled. Oh boy were they good, soft on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. They had that earthy and garlicky flavour that to this day I still try to recreate.

I learned a lot from my grandmother, she was always combining new ingredients and took her time to perfect the flavour. She knew about the ingredients she was using and cared about what she was feeding herself and others. I always remember her saying “you only have one body, take care of it”. Her wholesome approach to cooking is what inspired me and now I live out her legacy by creating delicious dishes that are equally nutritious.

I love to recreate dishes from my childhood. I use nutritious and complimentary ingredients to put my own twist on my favourite dishes. This particular flavour and texture took some time because I do not fry food and had to determine how to best get the crisp outside.

I’ve tried different grains and flours, but have recently discovered the key to the perfect patty; Erbology Organic Amaranth Grain.

The amaranth grains are tiny and remind me of caviar when they are cooked. They cook in a similar manner to rice and make a yummy sweet pudding. Amaranth has a very pleasant aroma, with nutty hints and a bit of a herbal taste. It’s somewhat sticky and similar to steel cut oats but way crunchier.

Blending my patties with the amaranth gave them the right texture inside and just the amount of crunchiness I hoped for on the outside. The slightly peppery taste seals the deal and adds to the ‘meaty’ flavours. These patties are perfect for serving right away or keeping on hand for other dishes. They go great fresh off the grill, in a bun, or on top of a salad!

Amaranth benefits unpacked

Amaranth was a major food crop of the Aztecs, and since been a staple grain for many cultures. This mighty grain is one of the best sources of plant-based protein and is rich in fibre and minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.

Amaranth was likely coined the mighty grain due to its protein content alone. Just in one cup of cooked amaranth, you can get 9 grams of protein, that is nearly a fifth of your daily recommended value (1). We need protein for just about everything – building muscle mass, supporting neurological function, aiding in digestion, helping to balance hormones and keeping an upbeat mood.

Protein-rich foods help us maintain a healthy weight because they make us feel full and require more work for our bodies to digest.

Unlike a lot of grains, amaranth is high in lysine. This amino acid plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Lysine is associated with weight gain or loss, as well as energy increase and muscle growth (6).

A serving of amaranth satisfies a fifth of our daily fibre recommendation, which stimulates the digestive system and regulates our elimination processes (1). 78% of the fibre in amaranth is insoluble fiber and 22% is soluble fibre, which is a higher proportion than what is found in wheat or maize. Insoluble fibre acts as a bulking agent while soluble fibre thickens digestive contents and slows down the process (2).

The high fibre content in amaranth can also help to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Fibre acts on the bile and pulls the cholesterol out of the body. As a result, the liver can make more bile, which has to use more cholesterol that is stored in the body.

A cup serving of cooked amaranth boasts 40% of our daily recommended magnesium intake (1). Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, right behind calcium and phosphorus. It is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions and absolutely necessary for regulating muscular contractions, blood pressure, and insulin metabolism. Magnesium deficiencies are common but a diet including plenty of water, greens, nuts, seeds and unprocessed grains can help. Low levels of magnesium have been associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (4).

A cup of cooked amaranth also provides over a quarter of our daily recommended iron intake. Iron is what helps our body produce blood. We need iron to build hemoglobin, the compound that helps to deliver oxygen to our red blood cells in order to harness energy and perform vital functions such as breathing and powering our muscles. Iron requirements vary by gender and fluctuate during different life stages (i.e. puberty, pregnancy, menopausal and postmenopausal). As adults, we store 1 to 3 grams of iron in our bodies but lose around 1mg each day through normal bodily processes. In order to ensure we have high enough iron levels, it is important that we include iron-rich foods in our diets (5).

Finally, a cup of amaranth provides over 100% of the daily recommended value of manganese (1), which, in small amounts, helps to reduce blood sugar levels. Manganese is required to help with the proper production of digestive enzymes for the gluconeogenesis process. This is when the amino acids from protein are converted into sugar (glucose) in order to balance the glucose within the bloodstream. By regulating these levels, our bodies are better able to produce enough insulin so that the glucose is not sitting in our bloodstream (3).

Written By: Danielle Bear

 

(1) “Daily Value Reference of the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, www.dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/dailyvalue.jsp.

(2) Lamothe, L M, et al. “Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa W.) and Amaranth (Amaranthus Caudatus L.) Provide Dietary Fibres High in Pectic Substances and Xyloglucans.” Food Chemistry., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25149016.

(3) Yaneff, Jon, and CNP. “Manganese Deficiency: Symptoms, Side Effects, and How to Avoid It.” Doctors Health Press – Daily Free Health Articles and Natural Health Advice, Doctors Health Press – Daily Free Health Articles and Natural Health Advice, 19 Dec. 2017, www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/manganese-deficiency-symptoms-effects/.

(4) Gröber, Uwe, et al. “Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy.” Nutrients, MDPI, Sept. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586582/.

(5) Abbaspour, Nazanin, et al. “Review on Iron and Its Importance for Human Health.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Feb. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999603/.

(6) “L-Lysine.” Amino Acid Studies, aminoacidstudies.org/l-lysine/.

Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 small bunches parsley
  • 1 1/3 cup uncooked green lentils (yields 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups Erbology Organic Amaranth Grain (yields 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (for a Gluten-free version, substitute with chickpea or millet flour)
  • 2 small red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup tamari soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed oil, for cooking

Here's how you do it

  1. Cook your lentils using 2:1 ratio, so 2 2/3 cup of water for 1 1/3 cup of dried lentils.
  2. Cook your amaranth using a 3:1 ratio, so 6 cups of water for 2 cups of amaranth.
  3. While the lentils and amaranth cook, prep your veggies. Peel and shred carrots and finely chop the parsley, onion, and garlic.
  4. After the lentils are cooked, strain the remaining water.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients but the amaranth place all the ingredients but for the amaranth. Mix well using your hands and make sure you break the lentils.
  6. Once the mixture starts coming together, add in the amaranth and mix with a wooden spoon.
  7. Form patties into the desired size and shape.
  8. Heat up grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat. You can add about 3 patties at a time and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Let them cool and serve right away or keep for later!

Tags

  • Amaranth
  • Energy
  • Fiber
  • Gluten-free
  • Party food ideas
  • Protein
  • Spring recipes

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