Amaranth + Popped Cereal

Posted by Jennifer Campoli on March 3rd, 2011
Filed under Fabulous food | No Comments »

Friends…I love experimenting in the kitchen.

But I haven't always felt that way. I used to be oh so scared of cookbooks, ingredients, oven temps and meal failures. But I have finally realized that the kitchen is our very own Wellness Center! A place to play and to learn. The kitchen is one of the many places where I nourish my body with fun food, new food, sometimes gross food and often exciting food. Burnt casseroles, interesting greens, sludge smoothie concoctions…I embrace it all now!

Yesterday I tried amaranth for the first time.

Amaranth has been a staple grain in theĀ Aztec and Incan civilizations but has made a recent splash in the United States along with quinoa as two top nutritious, gluten free grains. Amaranth is high in fiber, protein, the amino acid lysine, fiber, and calcium. A terrific vegetarian source of protein, coming in at 26 grams for a full cup, uncooked. It has an earthy, sweet taste and a sticky texture when cooked.

Check out the raw amaranth grain

They are tiny kernels and like to jump out of the bowl, all over your counter top. :)

My first experiment was cooking 1 cup of amaranth with 2 cups of broth. It took nearly 30 minutes for all of the liquid to cook down and I wasn't a huge fan of the malty taste. My mom loved it. I may just need to play around with flavors and added ingredients.

But experiment #2 was fabulous!

Popped Amaranth Cereal

Who knew this little grain would pop like popcorn, expand in size and be so gosh darn delicious!

So here's what you do to pop amaranth:

1. Heat a small pot to medium/high heat

2. Once heated, add 1-2 tbsp of amaranth to pot and immediately cover with top. Or else you will have popped amaranth all over the kitchen!

3. Move the pot back and forth on the burner and listen for popping sound. If the pot is heated, the popping will begin almost immediately. Allow grain to pop for 15-20 seconds. The grains burn very easily. I had burnt grain at about 25 seconds on the heat.

4. Remove popped grain and continue to add/pop 1-2 tbsp at a time.


Before popping



After popping


What do you do with this lovely popped amaranth?

Add delicious almond milk, fresh berries and cereal toppings of course!


This was very filling! Popped amaranth has a hearty taste and texture. There isn't a strong flavor so I could see tons of combinations and fun recipes!

So go experiment friends! Try a new food, a new ingredient, a new recipe. Step out of your current food box and go wild!

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