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Amaranth - July 2000

It is back in stock!
Bob Crowder, a big fan of Amaranth tells us it is an ideal Canterbury plains crop. Are there any more organic farmers out there who will grow it?
We have to import it.
For centuries Aztecs and American Indians have known the benefits of this seed of extremely high nutritional value, higher in protein than most commonly used grains, with the exception of Quinoa (profiled in a recent newsletter). For
example, It has a near perfect balance of amino acids, including high levels of lysine. (deficient in the other grains)
So you can live by bread alone if you make bread with Amaranth!
Amaranth also has a high content of phosphorous, iron and calcium. Unlike most grains, amaranth is high in Vitamin C and also contains Vitamin A.
It has a mild, sweet, slightly nutty flavour.
Amaranth is grown for the leaves as a vegetable and the seeds as a grain. It is used in cereals, pasta, baked goods, and other goods.
It can be prepared in many ways including popped. When boiling stir well or lumps will form. It acts as a thickening agent in soups or stews. Amaranth seeds can be cooked for hot cereal. It becomes rather gelatinous when it is boiled. The seeds are also good puffed like popcorn or sprouted. (see Wholefood Facts at Piko)

As flour it is best mixed with other flours because of its high moisture content. It produces goods that are moist and dense so the use of starch helps lighten the texture e.g. Rice flour.
Amaranth flour can be used to replace the flour called for in a recipe up to 45%. e.g. if a recipe needs 4 cups of wheat flour, using 3 cups wheat flour and 1 cup amaranth flour would be a 25% replacement. (This is also a good idea because wheat is not a perfect protein alone, so it adds the lysine, one of the amino acids that are low in wheat.) In flatbreads, pancakes and pasta it can be substituted 100%.
Furthermore, as a wholegrain it will last for years. Amaranth is best stored in a cool, dark place in a tightly covered container. Amaranth flour should be refrigerated to prevent rancidity and should be used within 3 to 6 months.


Amaranth pancakes

(a warm, welcome change to 'pog' in winter)
1 cup amaranth flour 11/2 cups water
1/2 cup arrowroot 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2cup ground nuts 2 Tbsp. oil
1 teasp baking soda . 1-2 Tbsp. maple
1 teasp ground cinnamon syrup or honey
Combine the flour, arrowroot, nuts, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, mix the water, lemon juice, oil, and maple syrup or honey. Stir liquid into flour mix to combine well. The batter will be thin.
Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a pre-heated frying pan. (The pancakes will be very thin) When pancakes are bubbly on top and browned on bottom, turn and cook other side. As the batter stands, it may thicken, thin with a little water.
Note: If you want to use these pancakes as flatbreads, cool them on wire racks, then stack, wrap and refrigerate until needed. Warm in a toaster oven or on wire racks in a moderate oven for a few minutes. Use to make mini sandwiches.

See Grain Power by Sabine Druckler, on sale at Piko, for other excellent ideas for Amaranth as a breakfast muesli cereal, how to pop, as a soup, Indian style pudding, and bread. This book is also good for ideas in using Quinoa and
other grains.

..... Amaranth grain 10% off ... (usually $5.63 for 500g)

New in:

' People pops'- lollypops sugar free and still sweet and fruity flavoured- pineapple, raspberry, 'orange zip', and 'give me grape.' $1.14 each.
Pizza bases - organic wheat flour, and mixed grains. $4.26 for two. Arrive Tuesdays.

We stock Manuka from Mountain Valley (Nelson based), Hislops (Kaikoura based), and Waiau - On Tap (North Canturbury). The Mouuntain Valley Honeys are in glass jars and are on the shelves in the front of the counter. There are several varieties and we are often asked about their different tastes, so included here are some Honey notes:
Mountain Valley Honey have had their Manuka Honey tested and it is 91.5% - 95% Manuka.
The spring last season was very wet and the bees, when they were able to forage, went for the Manuka in preference to anything else. Manuka is a strongly flavoured honey with many medicinal qualities and this season's Manuka is an excellent quality and has a fantastic flavour.
Kamahi Honey – Kamahi is a common tree found on steep hillsides often where regeneration is taking place. This year's crop is very small and may run out around November. Kamahi is described as a seasoning honey, with a distinctive rich, sweet buttery flavour.
Native Bush Honey is a blend of all the native floral sources – Manuka, Kamahi, Honeydew, Hinau, Mahoe, native Hebes and broadleaves. This year it is Manuka based.
Honeydew – collected in the spring from droplets of Honeydew off native Beech trees. It does not granulate. It is also known as a seasoning honey and has a complex treacly, 'Christmas cake' flavour.
Autumn Gold is Honeydew based with added nectar from native Hebes, Koromiko and late wildflowers. It is fantastic this season, rich but mellower than the Honeydew, it also tends to stay liquid.
Creamed Wildflower is the mildest of the range. This year the bees ignored the closer blackberries, lotus major, clover, and thistle and flew further for Manuka. It is creamed as it naturally granulates.
Mountain Valley honey is collected from the Whangamoa Forest Park and the Okiwi Bay/Elaine Bay areas of the Marlborough Sounds.
The isolation of these areas, plus the organic hive management and storage systems ensures the best product. The honey is packed within a week of extraction, maximising its flavours and fragrance. Try some today!!

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