Gluten-free Allergen-free Baking: Baked Amaranth Meal Cracker Flatbread Recipe

amaranthpizza

Picture a little round seed that looks like it belongs in a bird feeder or could be the start of a Chia pet. Imagine this seed surrounded by a million of its friends in a plastic clear bag from Bob’s Red Mill labeled “Amaranth Grain.” On my allergy rotation diet, this seed has become a staple, but not one that particularly thrills me. In the morning I’ve been having it boiled into a porridge with lemon olive oil, honey, nutmeg and raisins. I add all these things to mask the earthy, savory nature of the seed. Boiling it creates this gel-like stuff that seems only appropriate for an astronaut meal.

After eating this gloppy porridge one too many times, I started daydreaming about things I could do to give it a better texture. Somehow I came up with the idea of spreading it out like a pizza on parchment paper and baking it into a tasty flatbread that could be used as a pizza base or crackers. And- miracle of miracles, this technique worked and transformed my martian-gel porridge into this amazing cracker bread that rivals flax crackers for crunch and has amazing flavor too! So lately, I eat my morning glop but leave half of the stuff plain, chill it and bake it later. When I enjoy this gluten-free crunchy, salty cracker flatbread with tasty veggies, it’s hard to remember that it is the same stuff that I eat for breakfast, transformed thanks to the magic of the kitchen.

The baked seed pops in your mouth a little and the high protein count means you don’t even miss t he missing dairy, egg or soy in the recipe- it is simply fabulous, and fabulously easy. I hope the next time you find yourself facing a big bowl of amaranth gruel that you will consider transforming it into some lovely salty flatbread.

And, if like me you need to avoid nuts and dairy, you may enjoy topping it with a lovely pumpkin seed basil pesto and roasted red peppers and calling it pizza. I’ve been experimenting with both pumpkin seed and sunflower seeds… as rare allergens they seemed like a good bet, and they don’t seem to bother Baby Yum. To my delight, pumpkin seed pesto is just as tasty as I could have hoped- and I don’t miss the dairy or nuts in the slightest! What are your favorite ways to cook with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds? Share in the comments and you just might inspire my dinner!

Gluten-free Amaranth cracker recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup whole amaranth grain (not flour)- i use Bob’s Red Mill brand
1 1/2 cup water
salt to taste

flavored olive oil (lemon or basil)

fresh basil, torn into pieces to garnish (optional)

Directions
Boil amaranth with water for 20-30 minutes, or until you have a thick porridge like consistency. Cool and place in refrigerator and thoroughly chill.

Preheat oven to 425F.
Line pizza pan with parchment paper and baste with olive oil.

Remove chilled amaranth and spoon onto your parchment paper into a thin, round disk, much like a pizza. Baste top with olive oil (flavored olive oil is ideal) and sprinkle with plenty of salt.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bottom of crust dries out and edges start to get crisp like a cracker. Carefully peel off parchment paper and turn crust over, basting with olive oil if desired.

Bake until you get desired crispiness on both sides of cracker. Remove from oven, slice into pizza shapes and use as flatbread, cut into crackers (if you get it really crispy), or top and bake a little more in oven.

Vegan Dairy-free Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
olive oil (start with 1 tbsp. and add more as needed to form paste)
1 small bunch fresh basil (or more, to taste)
salt
Directions
Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on low heat, turning as needed. Combine pumpkin seed with olive oil and basil in a small food processor and blend. Stir as needed and add more olive oil as necessary until you get a nice texture. Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Notes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepita


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