After I made my quinoa muffins, I thought to myself, "I bet I could make these muffins with amaranth too!". I had a bag of amaranth in my pantry, and some dried cherries and thought they would make some great healthy muffins! Amaranth is a seed which is similar to quinoa, but much smaller. Both are treated like grains, but are actually seeds that are packed with protein! Usually I cook up some quinoa or amaranth and mix them up with some fruits or veggies for one of my son's meals. Of course, he never turns down a muffin, and they make such a great traveling snack! As I was making this recipe, I started mixing up the wet ingredients with the dry, and then realized I had no eggs! Luckily, applesauce and mashed bananas make a great substitute for eggs in muffin recipes, and I almost always have both of those on hand at all times. So, it turns out, these muffins are also vegan! As you probably know from my previous recipes, I'm definitely no vegan. But if you are, these are a great muffin for you! They taste pretty good even if you're a carnivore like me. :) My son says, "Mmm Mmm!"
1 cup amaranth
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped*
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup applesauce (or 1 large egg)*
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium saucepan, bring amaranth and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce to low heat; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and amaranth is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush a 12-cup muffin pan with oil, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cherries, and 2 cups cooked amaranth. Reserve any leftover amaranth for another use.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, applesauce (or egg), and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean 25 to 30 minutes.* Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!
*Note: It is not necessary to chop your dried cherries. I did only because I knew I would be serving these muffins to my son, and I wasn't sure if he could handle a larger-sized dried fruit. To substitute eggs in future muffin recipes, use either 1/4 cup applesauce or 1/4 cup mashed banana for each egg in the recipe. My muffins took a little longer in the oven, about 40 minutes. I'm not sure if it's because of the amaranth, or if the applesauce made the batter too moist. They still turned out good, just took a little longer. :)