Cibo e Benessere

Amaranto: antico e buono, ma sconosciuto

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“Mai passato alla cassa, mai visto…” è la risposta che mi ha dato la commessa del supermercato. Lo sgomento aleggia nel suo sguardo. Ok, non le ho chiesto una cosa che ordinariamente acquistiamo, le ho chiesto dove fosse l’amaranto. Non c’è. Ma qualche settimana prima l’avevo visto, proprio su quegli scaffali, insieme ad altri cereali o affini. In realtà l’offerta di questo tipo di prodotti si sta piano piano allargando anche nei market generali, non sempre è strettamente necessario recarsi nei negozi biologici come NaturaSì. Ma restano comunque alimenti sconosciuti ai più.

A me piace provare e assaggiare e se miglio, quinoa e burghul trovano spazio di tanto in tanto sulla mia tavola, l’amaranto mancava ancora di una sua collocazione e di un suo perché.

Faccio ricerca. La pianta è bellissima e il suo fiore dura a lungo. La parola amaranto deriva infatti dal greco e significa “che non appassisce, che non muore”. I greci la consideravano simbolo di amicizia eterna. Mi informo e scopro che val la pena provarne i semi per le numerose proprietà. Non un vero e proprio cereale, antichissimo, del tutto privo di glutine, l’amaranto è adatto anche per i celiaci. Ricco di fibre, proteine, vitamine e altamente digeribile. Buono in zuppe e insalate, ho cercato – mixando più ricette – di preparare un piatto che potesse essere appetibile anche per i bambini. Ho scelto quindi di cucinare delle polpette, che non ho fritto però, ma ho cotto in forno. Vi dirò di più: ho cotto tutto senza un filo d’olio, ho aiutato la preparazione solo con l’aggiunta di acqua. Era la prima volta che lo facevo e devo dire che il piatto non ne ha perso in gusto! Incredibile ma vero. Sano, light e bissato dai bambini.
Vi passo la ricetta, provatela! I veg l’apprezzeranno senz’altro, gli onnivori come me proveranno qualcosa di nuovo. L’amaranto è una valida alternativa a carne e derivati animali.


Questi gli ingredienti per una dozzina di polpettine:

  • 150 g di amaranto
  • 400 g di acqua (o brodo vegetale)
  • Basilico
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 carote
  • 1 spicchio d’aglio
  • Curcuma (o altre spezie, a piacere)
  • Sale e pepe

 

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Così ho proceduto:

 Ho lessato l’amaranto nel brodo vegetale per 40’. Nel frattempo ho pulito e tagliato a piccoli tocchettini le verdure. (Ci ho pensato solo dopo, ma l’utilizzo della mandolina che riduce a julienne avrebbe velocizzato il tutto. Poco male, comunque: è una ricetta abbastanza veloce). Ho sistemato questi dadini in una teglia antiaderente con uno spicchio d’aglio schiacciato. Ho portato il tutto a cottura così, aggiungendo solo di tanto in tanto poca acqua. Ho salato, pepato e cosparso un pochino di curcuma.

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Una volta cotta, ho messo la verdura in una ciotola e l’ho ridotta a composto usando il minipimer. Potete schiacciarla anche con una forchetta. Ho aggiunto le foglie di basilico a pezzetti e infine l’amaranto. Aggiustate di sale se necessario.

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Ho formato le polpettine e le ho ripassate nella farina di mais, sistemate sulla leccarda del forno e cotte a 200°, il tempo necessario per la doratura.
Le ho servite con la maionese vegana (senza uova, mai assaggiata? Si prepara in un attimo e non c’è rischio che impazzisca!) e una ricca insalata di finocchi, peperoni, sedano e ravanelli.

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Vi riporto il parere della nutrizionista Anna Masi sulla ricetta: “Questo pseudo cereale è molto antico e trae origine dall’America Latina. L’amaranto ha un alto contenuto in magnesio, indispensabile per contrastare astenia, affaticamento e irritabilità nervosa. Inoltre è ricco di aminoacidi, il che si traduce in un alto valore nutritivo, ed è particolarmente povero di sodio. L’assenza di glutine rende l’amaranto un primo piatto ideale per il celiaco ma anche per chi è affetto da disturbi gastrointestinali quali gastrite e colite. La sua alta digeribilità, la povertà in sodio e la ricchezza proteica lo rendono un alimento da prediligere anche nel dimagrimento e la ritenzione idrica. L’alto contenuto in magnesio è ideale per placare gli attacchi di fame nervosa e migliorare la qualità del sonno. Inoltre è buonissimo e particolarmente saporito.”

 
Che ne dite? Provate e assaggiate? Ricordate che le verdure con cui potete realizzare le polpette possono variare: patate, cipolla, peperone, broccoli… l’importante è seguirne la stagionalità.
La salute ne trarrà giovamento, in quanto al gusto… fateci sapere! 


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