How to Pop Amaranth
“Popping Amaranth,” sounds like a drug reference. Amaranth, though delicious and completely addictive tasting, it is not a drug. Amaranth is a gluten-free seed grain and one of the most amazing sources of complete protein (meaning it contains all the building blocks of life). It's one of the smallest grains. It was one of the staple grains of the ancient Incas and is known as "kiwicha" in the Andes today. Because of the physical properties of the grain, when it is exposed to high heat, the small amount of moisture inside the seed will cause it to burst and pop! It is a super tiny grain though, so the popped version looks very much like popcorn for tiny fairies. Think,” Tinkerbell’s favorite snack for a Netflix marathon.”
The flavor of popped amaranth is very like that of toasted almonds and it adds a complex richness to any dish. Boom! It’s much lower in fat if you’re wanting to add a nutty flavor to cookies, cakes and dessert or have someone in the family who has a nut allergy but loves the taste of nutty goodness. Mmm. Nutty goodness.
Besides protein (it boasts 30% more protein than wheat or oats), amaranth is a good source of dietary fiber and minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and especially manganese. Bonus, it has also been claimed that the ingestion of amaranth is beneficial in the preventing of grey hair. Listen, we’re not saying that you won’t get grey hair eventually, but good nutrition couldn’t hurt along the way, right?
To Pop Amaranth
½ Cup Amaranth
- Heat a large heavy Dutch oven over high heat at least 5 minutes.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon amaranth into pan, and check to see that seeds almost immediately start popping. If they don’t, and they instead sit in the pan and burn, the pan isn’t hot enough, and you’ll need to start over. If they do, cover the pan (popped seeds will fly everywhere) and shake it back and forth on or just over the burner until you hear the seeds start popping.
- Immediately pour popped amaranth into a bowl; repeat procedure with remaining amaranth, 1 tablespoon at a time. This should yield 1 cup of popped seeds.