Amaranth & pear porridge

Suitable from 6 months

Amaranth porridge

Amaranth is a little known South-American seed, which is currently enjoying a renaissance. Amaranth is high in protein, making it the perfect balanced baby porridge as well as a nutritious breakfast for the rest of the family. The protein helps to balance blood sugar, resulting in a slow release carbohydrate that will keep little (and large) stomachs full for longer. Being a seed rather than a grain, it is also gluten-free, so it is ideal as a first food and for those avoiding or eliminating gluten.

There are many different variations of amaranth porridge. Apple and ginger make a wonderfully warming winter amaranth porridge. Lemon and ginger make a tart, tangy combination. Cinnamon adds warmth, so you could add a cinnamon stick to your amaranth porridge during cooking. Cinnamon can provoke a severe allergic reaction among babies though, so watch out for any redness around the mouth.

One of my current favourite variations is to substitute strawberries and chopped dried apricots for the pear. When the porridge is piping hot and my 15-month old doesn’t understand why he can’t eat it NOW, adding a few organic frozen strawberries brings the temperature down pretty quickly. Chop up some soft dried apricots into tiny pieces, swirl the strawberries around until they melt and then serve. This combination tastes even better if you leave it in a sealed jar overnight and serve once all the flavours have infused.

Recipe tips
Cook the amaranth well, so that it is not too crunchy. Adults and older children may like a crunchy texture but babies often prefer it creamy. If you want to experiment, you could try adding your favourite spices and fruits.