healthy + seasonal recipes that are gluten & dairy-free

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping

I'm really excited to share this breakfast with you -- I was so happy with how all the flavours came together, and it feels really special to sit down to. There's a warming porridge made from amaranth (have you heard of amaranth? it's a tiny little seed that packs a big nutritional punch with lots of protein, lysine, and iron), a spiced compote made with apples and pear, and a crunchy sweet and lightly salted seed topping. A splash of cashew milk and a few slices of apple perfectly finish it off - I'd happily serve this to overnight guests! 

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen
Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen
Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen

I've been making this porridge for quite some time, switching the toppings with whatever is in season. In August, I did a peach and turmeric compote that was totally delicious. You can find that recipe here, if you're interested. 

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen
Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen

This, to me, is what Fall tastes like. I hope your corner of the world is also bursting with the October harvest. My farmer's market boasts several varieties (and sizes!) of apples right now. I can't seem to take myself away from the Honeycrisp though - they're my "must buy" item every week lately. This past Saturday morning, I met two of my sisters at our market and as we wandered around, we passed a table with apples that had to have weighed half a pound - they were huge! A light greenish-yellow variety, but I didn't catch the name. Do you know what the type of apples are that grow to the size of a baby's head? 

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen
Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen

One thing I love about living where I do is that we fully, completely experience every season and they're absolutely distinct from each other. Even though I am zero-much a fan of being cold  (winters are too long and too cold for my liking and I often declare that I'm moving to California whenever the temperature dips too far below zero), I like having so much of a comparison. It makes me appreciate the other seasons more. To me, the very best parts of Autumn - the glowy light, the abundance of local fruits and vegetables, the cool mornings but warm and sunny days and the colourful tapestry of turned leaves - are incredibly special but so fleeting. We're right in the midst of the best of it now. I hope you are making the most of it!

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen
Crunchy Seed Topping (gluten free, vegan, nut-free) - My Natural Kitchen

Wishing you the most wonderful day xx

Amaranth Porridge with Spiced Apple & Pear Compote and Crunchy Seed Topping

Makes 4 servings (or, 2 large servings)

Amaranth Porridge

1 c amaranth

1 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup light coconut milk, divided

1/2 cup water

2 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

Add amaranth and chia seeds to 1 1/4 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water. Stir in the vanilla extract, and set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until amaranth has softened and the liquid is absorbed. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Set aside for a few minutes, and then serve. 

Spiced Apple & Pear Compote

1 small pear, peeled and chopped into small pieces (1/2 cup pear)

2 small apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces (1 1/2 cup apple)

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 cup water

2 tsp chia seeds

In a small saucepan, combine the pear, apple, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla extract, coconut sugar, and water (wait until the end to add the chia seeds). Stir to combine, and set over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and stir occasionally, for about 15 minutes. The fruit should be soft but maintain it's shape, and there will be extra liquid released from the fruit in the pan. Stir in the 2 tsp of chia seeds and combine well. Set aside for about 5 minutes, allowing the chia seeds to absorb the excess liquid and thicken the mixture. Using a potato masher (or just a fork if you don't have a potato masher), mash the fruit, leaving some small pieces. 

Crunchy Seed Topping

This sweet and just lightly salty mixture is so delicious, it would make a nice cereal with some cashew milk in place of a granola. This recipe makes more than you'll need for topping the porridge. Puffed amaranth is available in health food stores (with the other puffed grains like quinoa or millet), or in well-stocked grocery stores with a "Natural Foods" aisle. I've also heard you can make your own (similar to popping popcorn) but I haven't tried this myself. If you can't find it and don't want to make it, just omit - don't use unpuffed amaranth seeds in place of puffed amaranth. 

1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), raw

1/3 cup hemp hearts

1/3 cup puffed amaranth

1 tbsp whole flaxseeds

1 tbsp sesame seeds, raw

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a small pan, melt the coconut oil and stir in the maple syrup. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pepitas (pumpkin seeds), hemp hearts, puffed amaranth, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sea salt, and cinnamon. Pour over the maple and coconut oil mixture and fold to evenly combine. 

Spread the seed mixture onto the parchment sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through cooking so that it browns evenly. Keep an eye on the seeds at the 10 minutes mark, making sure they don't burn. Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes, to crisp up and cool a little. 

To serve: portion the amaranth porridge among serving dishes. Spoon a couple small scoops of the Spiced Apple & Pear Compote over top. Add a splash of milk (I used cashew milk, which worked really nicely). Top with 1-2 tbsp of the Crunchy Seed Topping, a few thin slices of apple (optional), and serve. 

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