Gluten Free For Good


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If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’ve been roasting, peeling, and eating green chile for the past two weeks. I promised I’d quit posting different versions of green chile and while this recipe has nothing to do with that, it was inspired by tortilla testing for future green chile eating. I’ve been trying to come up with a tortilla comparable to the kind made with white flour and lard, which is totally disgusting when you break it down nutritionally, but not bad when you roll it up and dip it into a bowl of green chile stew. Traditional tortilla ingredients are either devoid of nutritional value or off limits because of the gluten, so I’ve been experimenting with different flours in an attempt to create a healthy, tasty, and dip-satisfying tortilla. Gluten-free and dairy-free no less.

This attempt worked okay, but it’s a far cry from a tortilla, so I’ll call it flat bread. It makes for a healthy and interesting sandwich holder. Hey, when you have celiac disease your bread standards change and you have to be creative (not to mention have a good sense of humor). This flat bread also makes a good cracker to spread salmon salad, almond butter or guacamole on. Break it up in chunks and serve on a platter with a yummy and spreadable concoction. Not bad!

I’ve tweaked the recipe and tried it several times now and it seems to come out better with each attempt. I think it’s more about gaining rolling pin dexterity and coordination than actual changes in the recipe. It’s not easy to shuffle that little ball of sticky dough around and flatten it out without the whole thing rolling around the pin. Or cementing itself to the counter. The recipe is simple, the execution of it takes culinary motor skills.

First, a little background on amaranth. Amaranth is quinoa’s cousin. They’re similar in the fact that both contain all the essential amino acids and are considered excellent and complete protein choices. Like quinoa, amaranth is incredibly versatile and is high in fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Amaranth is actually higher in protein and calcium than milk, so those of you (me too) who are dairy intolerant, take note. It also contains an important calcium cofactor, magnesium. It’s very good stuff!

It has a nutty, herbal, earthy taste, which I love, but it might take some getting used to if you’ve been stuck in the refined, wheat flour rut. You can mix a little of the whole grain in with rice or quinoa (or any grain) to add a delicate crunch to your dish, or cook it up and mix in some agave, apple chunks, and nuts for a yummy breakfast porridge. It releases a form of starch called amylopectin while cooking, which gives a creamy feel to it (kind of like risotto). Amaranth flour provides some leavening properties while baking, so it’s a good choice for those of us who avoid gluten.

amaranth flatbread

what you need
1 cup amaranth flour (if you can’t find this at a health food market, you can order it from Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon seasonings (I’ve used everything from red chile blend to Italian seasonings, be creative)
grapeseed oil for frying

what you do
whisk amaranth flour with salt and seasoning
stir the oil into the water, add to the flour and check consistency; you want the dough moist but not sticky
knead it a bit to blend it together and prepare it to roll into a ball (you may have to add a bit more flour or water; play with it until you find the right consistency)
roll into a ball about the size of a lime and roll it around in your hands until it’s in a non-sticky form
use additional flour to coat the rolling pin and the counter top and roll out into a flat circle about 1/8th inch thick; the edges will be uneven (at least mine are); the circle should be about 5” inches across
put a tablespoon or so of oil in a small frying pan and heat to moderate heat
place the dough circle in the frying pan and cook for a few minutes on each side; press it down with a spatula if you have to
make sure each side is nicely browned and cooked fully; it will look a bit dry and browned like a tortilla
makes 3 or 4 pieces of flatbread

If you have any leftovers or you make a bigger batch, store in the refrigerator and heat in the toaster. Enjoy!

P.S. Although I haven’t tried it yet, the Bob’s Red Mill amaranth flour package has a pancake recipe on the back that looks so good. Yum!

One Response to “amaranth flatbread; all about the grain”

  1. Robin says:

    Thank you for this simple & tasty recipe! Came out perfect. 🙂

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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