Have you ever tried amaranth? Anciently used in South America and parts of Asia, amaranth is a whole grain that packs a punch with nutrition and flavor! You can use the grain raw by tossing it into oatmeal or mixing it into your favorite quick bread recipe. But my favorite way to use amaranth is to pop it! You can actually turn those tiny pieces of grain inside out, just as you would popcorn. Ready to get your amaranth on?
There are two key steps to popping perfect batches of amaranth: 1) Make sure you've heated a nonstick skillet over very hot heat BEFORE adding your grain; 2) Cook it in small batches, about 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.
Once your nonstick pan is hot, pour in 1 to 2 tablespoons of amaranth. Watch it closely for popping!
The grain is tiny, but you'll start to see tiny popped "kernels" throughout your pan. Stir with a wooden spoon, if needed, to keep the unpopped grain from burning.
Transfer your popped grain to a small bowl. Continue popping the amaranth in small batches.
See the difference between the raw grain and the popped grain? Isn't it beautiful? Use the raw amaranth to lend texture to quick breads, bowls of oatmeal and the bottom of homemade pizza crust. Add the popped grain to salads, bowls of granola or yogurt for a healthy, whole grain crunch.
You can also toss the popped amaranth into these incredible whole grain cereal bars. It lends incredible flavor and texture.
For an extra treat, we topped our cereal bars with chocolate.
And a bit of extra popped amaranth, because it's just too fun to not show off!
No matter how you cook it, bake it or serve it, amaranth is a beautiful grain worth keeping in your kitchen!