Hands-on Time
5 Mins
Total Time
10 Mins
Makes about 2 ½ cups Popped Amaranth

Corn isn’t the only grain that pops: Amaranth, quinoa, millet, and sorghum do, too. With the smaller amaranth grains, popping in a dry pan works best; millet and sorghum work better with a little oil in the pan. If you aren’t familiar with the flavor, amaranth has a slightly peppery, pronounced grassy taste. The tiny whole grains are so small that they resemble farina or cornmeal when cooked and they pop easily, creating fluffy, airy grains. Amaranth is not only an ancient grain but it’s a good source of protein and fiber and an excellent source of magnesium. Popped to perfection, amaranth is a satisfying gluten-free and guilt-free snack.

How to Make It

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.

Chef's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016,Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice