Growing up in India, I remember eating a local sweet from street vendors called “Rajgira ladoos”. They were perfect little balls of sweetness and crispness; an Indian slightly less-sweeter version of the American Rice Krispies. Amaranth is known as Rajgira in India and its greens are called Chulai(which are also eaten). It has been used to make sweets for everyday use and religious ceremonies also. It is eaten in various forms. It can be boiled, popped or ground into flour for various recipes.
Now, when I read about the various benefits of Amaranth, it seems amazing how things are coming back full circle. The wholesome simple foods of the past are all making a comeback, and I love it! It brings back a lot of good memories and helps pack a great nutritious punch to boot J In this recipe I have tried to combine the goodness of the amaranth with oats, nuts and seeds to make an excellent portable protein snack bar. I hope you all will like it the way everyone does in my house!
Amaranth – ½ cup + 1/8 cup raw OR 1 cup popped
Organic Old Fashioned Toasted Rolled Oats – 1/3 cup
Ground Flax – ¼ cup
Organic Oat Flour/All purpose flour – 1/3 cup
Sesame seeds – ¼ cup
Peanuts – 1/3 cup chopped up
Pitted dates – 1/3 cup chopped up
Organic Creamy Peanut Butter(with no added salt or sugar) – ¼ cup
Honey – 1/3 cup
- Heat a pan with some height. It should be hot but not smoking. Add half of 1/8 cup amaranth and immediately cover with lid and let the grains pop like popcorn. Keep moving the pan so that it doesn’t burn. Once it slows, remove from heat and pour the popped amaranth into a bowl. Keep adding rest in small quantities and pop like that till you have 1 cup popped. It should take approximately ½ + 1/8 cups raw to get 1 cup popped. There will be few that won’t pop, but that is okay. Keep them, don’t throw them.
- Chop the peanuts with a sharp knife.
- Also chop the dates.
- Mix all the dry ingredients really well.
- Add the honey and peanut butter. Mix with a silicon spatula.
- Then slightly wet your hands and mix everything the good old fashioned way really way to break down the large clumps.
- I have used a 8”x8”x2” Pyrex glass container.
- Line the pan with aluminum foil. Spray/grease with canola oil.
- Put the mix in the lined greased pan. Put a cling film on top and press with a potato masher to get the mixture tightly, evenly pressed in the pan.
- Bake the mix in the oven at 3500 F for 15-20 min. Bake till the edges turn slightly brown.
- Just lift the entire baked mixture using the aluminum foil overhang and place on chopping board.
- Cut into rectangular bars and then let them cool for an hour outside and later in the refrigerator in a closed box for another 30 min.
- If you want them soft then keep them at room temperature with pieces of parchment in between to prevent them from sticking. If you prefer slightly firmer, refrigerate them. Enjoy!
Total Servings: 8
Per serving : 218 cal, Fat 9.8 g, Carbs 31g, Fiber 6g, Sugar 12 g, Protein 7 g, Iron 12%