Dr Oz presented a Cranky Free Diet on the Dr Oz Show, and he mentioned that Amaranth fights off Crankiness. Who knows what to do with Amaranth though?!? Well apparently, Amaranth can be “popped” like popcorn for a healthy snack. I immediately became intrigued. Doctor Oz has raved about Amaranth Grains on several shows, but I never bought any because I was not quite sure what I would do with it. But yesterday the thought of Amaranth Popcorn was calling out to me! So I got my hands on a bag of the cranky and fatigue fighting whole grain that is full of protein, iron, zinc and calcium.
As you can see in the photo below, Amaranth Grains are very tiny (MUCH smaller than corn kernels). Usually when people make popcorn, they use at least a little bit of oil, heat it up, add the corn, and let it pop away. But I decided to try making Amaranth Popcorn without oil because I wanted to make the snack as healthy as possible. So here is exactly what I did:
How To Pop Amaranth Grains
1. Find a small to medium sized pan or pot that has a lid. It is best if the lid is made of glass so that you can watch the Amaranth pop so that you won’t burn the grains. However, if you do not have a glass lid (or any lid at all) you could use a metal lid or even a piece of aluminum foil to cover the pot / pan. You just have to be very careful to listen closely so that you remove the Amaranth Popcorn as soon as the “popping” sound stops.
2. Place the pan / pot on your stove over medium heat and let it warm up.
3. Pour several tablespoons of Amaranth Grains into the hot pan / pot, and quickly cover with the lid. You do not want to add too much at any given time, because otherwise some grains get popped and others do not… and the ones that get popped will get burned if you wait for the non-popped grains to pop.
4. Within a second or two the Amaranth will start popping, and in less than 10 seconds all of the grains will have popped.
5. Remove the Amaranth Popcorn from the pot / pan and repeat with more grains if you want to make more.
You can see in the photo above the end results! The Amaranth Popcorn is on the right-hand side, and the unpopped Amaranth Grains are on the left so that you can see the comparison. The taste is fairly similar to popcorn, except it is slightly “nuttier” and the texture is different since the Amaranth Popcorn is really more of a super tiny “Micro Popcorn”.
I took another photo to show you just how small the Amaranth Popcorn is compared to a penny… it is itty bitty! In fact, I ended up eating it with a spoon. But I really love the possibilities of this new snack. I want to do more experimenting like using it in granola recipes or flavoring it with different spices… cinnamon, cayenne pepper, even garlic powder… I see how all of them could be a lovely flavor addition to Amaranth Popcorn! Definitely share your thoughts, recipes and experiences in the comment section below!