My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

  


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  

                               

Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

« ten things tuesday | Main | fresh grilled veggie tacos »
Sunday
Jul222012

popped amaranth cereal | puffmaranth

I thought you may need a little reminder about this amazingly fantastic DIY cereal.  I’ve talked about it a dozen times in the past, but it needs to be brought up again.  Mostly because it’s been months since I’ve made a bowl.  So it’s been months since you’ve seen a bowl.  And we’ve both forgotten just how divine it is.

And after that first bowl, I made one the next day and documented it just for you.

amaranthberry-1

So what exactly is amaranth?  A gluten free grain containing a high amount of protein, iron, calcium, lysine, magnesium, fiber, and the list goes on.  It actually holds the highest amount of protein when compared to all other gluten free grains.  It can be cooked in a variety of ways but is most commonly cooked in liquid.  I actually am not a fan of boiled amaranth.  A bit too earthy for me.

For this recipe, instead of cooking amaranth in liquid we’re going to pop it.  Kind of like popcorn.  Nothing too crazy.  You basically heat a pan over med-high, drop 1-2 Tbsp of amaranth in the pan, cover it, shake above the flame, and then POP.  In 10-15 seconds you are done with your first batch.

In the photo below the raw grain is on the left.  It is teeny tiny!  Much smaller than quinoa or millet.

amaranthberry-1

Cereal in minutes that you + your kids can customize any which way you like?  Cereal that is nutrient dense + filling? Cereal that you can eat more than 3/4 cup of?

Sign me up!

amaranthberry-2

Okay, so I know I’m making it sound super simple but it takes a little time to perfect.

I’ve had many people say they’ve gotten it to work and a handful that have said they just can’t seem to get it.

I’ve tested this on a gas + electric range with both coated + aluminum pots.  I’m not sure of the effects of heating a coated pan over med-high but I have gotten it to work.  Below I’ve re-written the instructions and also given a set of tips.  It definitely takes a few burnt batches until you get the hang of it.  But it’s definitely worth it.

As soon as you learn the right heat setting for your range you’re good to go!

amaranthberry-3

And then you’re left with a light, fluffy, slightly crunchy blank canvas in a bowl.

Just waiting to be covered in fresh summer berries.

amaranthberry-4 

amaranthberry-6

…loving on the morning light…

amaranthberry-7

Print this!

How to: Popped Amaranth [yields ~2 cups – my typical serving size]

[nutrition data info]

  • 6 Tbsp raw amaranth
  1. Heat a small/medium pot over med-high/high heat.
  2. Test if the pot is hot enough by adding a drop of water.  If it instantly balls up, dances around in the pot, and evaporates you’re good to go.
  3. Once hot, add in 1-2T raw amaranth, then cover with a lid and quickly shimmy/slide the pot back and forth just above the burner.  If your heat is set correctly it should start popping within 1-3 seconds and finish within 10-15 seconds.  It burns very quickly!
  4. Just as the amaranth pops are slowing empty it into a bowl.
  5. Replace the pan back on the burner to heat back up for 15-30 seconds.
  6. Repeat the popping process until desired amount has been reached.
  7. Let cool in the bowl.
  8. Add toppings, milk, cereal sauce, nut butter, nuts, yogurt, etc.

Tips:

  • Wear oven mitts!  The heat gets intense when you’re making multiple batches. 
  • I recommend 1-2 Tbsp of raw amaranth in the pot.  You want a thin layer across the bottom.
  • It’s crucial that your pot is fully heated.
  • If you don’t cover the pot amaranth will pop everywhere.
  • If the amaranth doesn’t start popping within 3 seconds your pan is not hot enough.
  • Dump the amaranth into the bowl just as the popping is slowing down.  If you wait until it’s completely stopped it will burn.
  • If the amaranth instantly burns your heat is too hot.
  • If you’re using an electric burner you may have to slide the pot back and forth on the burner and not above it.
  • If you let the popped grain fully cool you can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a few weeks.

And let’s not forget to drench it in cereal sauce.  It’s like a milkier smoothie that you can customize any which way you like.  Check that link for ideas.

amaranthberry-8 

I usually end up using about 1.5 – 2 cups of milk or cereal sauce for each 2 cup bowl.  Play around to find what you like best. 

amaranthberry-9

The flavor is light + nutty, with a slight bit of earthiness.  I usually drizzle honey overtop and add nut butter but somehow I’m out of both!?? 

Don’t let the lightness of this popped grain deceive you.  It’s one of the most filling breakfasts I’ve ever eaten.

You can also incorporate popped amaranth into granola bars,  peanut butter cups, cookies, or even use it as an ice cream topping [which I tried last night!].

amaranthberry-10 

A definite favorite that is going to be on repeat for the rest of the summer.

Ashley

Reader Comments (46)

I keep meaning to make this and always forget about it! Love idea of a blank canvas in a bowl :)
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
This couldn't have come at a better time! I have been meaning to try this and I have a bunch of amaranth in my pantry. I'll le you know how it goes!

Ashley--> I'm excited to see what you think!
I've seen amaranth all over the blog world and have been meaning to try it out. I never see it at the grocery store, though. I printed the recipe this time and I'm going to make it a mission to find it and make it! Out of honey and nutbutter......shameful! ;)

Ashley--> I know! It's a breakfast tragedy! ;)
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim@hungryhealthygirl
I haven't tried this yet but it sounds great..beautiful photos!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee
beautifully lit pictures!

Ashley--> Thanks so much!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @KatieDid
I have been meaning to try this with cereal sauce, thanks for bringing it back to the blog!
Oh my this looks good. I've wanted to try your popped amaranth forever now. It's time I get on it. And this cereal sauce!! That is unreal.
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
maybe I'll come over for breakfast next time....

Ashley--> That is a splendid idea!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I just found your fabulous blog and could not have found it at a more perfect time, I am having some health issues and am trying gluten free and possibly vegan. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, I am buying some amaranth today and giving it a try.

Ashley--> Thanks for saying hi, Chelsea! Let me know if you have any questions about the blog or recipes. So sorry to hear you've been having some health issues. Best of luck trying to figure it all out!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea
I still haven't tried this! Getting amaranth this weekend!
YAY! Good to see this on the blog again... I adore this cereal! It's amazing how substantial it really is, such a huge bowl of deliciousness! Most definitely making it this week :)
I don't think the cereal sauce link is correct... it took me to one of your pages that had four different recipes, none of which seemed to include cereal sauce options...

Ashley--> Thanks so much for the catch! I had it mis-linked to one of my other amaranth recipes. So sorry about that!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCherilyn
Hmm! This is a really interesting idea--I will have to do some cereal-popping experiments sometime soon!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
I make this ALL the time! I usually have a huge (pre-made) batch ready for the week and have since you posted it the very first time. To say that it's part of the weekly rotation is an understatement.

Ashley--> So glad to hear! I need to make a big batch. I'm always too anxious and just stop after 6-8 Tbsp. hehe
Wow, thanks for sharing this looks incredible. I will certainly be trying it out!
Haha! I tried this once and burnt the shiz out of a pan....buuuut I left it in there like I do with popcorn, so that's probably why. :-D Glad you posted this, as well as the nutritional info. As soon as I'm done typing, I'm going to try it.

Ashley--> Yikes!! Hope it worked!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I really need to give this a try one day. It looks so simple. My problem is that I get into such food ruts. Usually because I tend to never leave myself enough time. I work out first thing and come home from the gym STARVING and I just eat something that I know is fast and works for me. Same with lunch - my all time least creative meal (hello salads) and then for dinner and snacks I tend to just be lazy. Blah Blah...but my goal is to try this at some point this summer.
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
This is definitely one of my favorite breakfasts! I've been making it even more often now that the weather has warmed up. I love that I can change the flavors so easily with different combinations of spices, cocoa powder, cereal sauces (my favorite), and toppings. I have another tip - I find it much easier to use a mesh splatter screen instead of the metal lid that goes with the pan (hold the screen over the pan with one hand and shake the pan in the other). This way I can see what's going on without lifting the lid, and the pan is much easier to shake.

Ashley--> Great tip for the splatter screen if you have solid lids and can't see when it slows down with the popping. Thanks for the suggestion!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
Ashley, you have just saved me. I have a big bag of amaranth that I've had no idea what to do with but want to use. Thank you SO much for this demonstration! I HAVE to try it out! :D

Ashley--> Glad I could be of help!!
Just had to say I made this (finally successful) and loved it! I can't wait to try your cereal sauces with it. Those are so inventive! I'd even like to put them on hot oatmeal or in overnight oats. Thank you!

Ashley--> Very excited to hear this!!
July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Super food! I have some millet left, maybe I can try to pop them for the weekend breakfast.

Ashley--> Millet won't pop with this method! :) I'm still trying to figure it out!
July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngie@Angiesrecipes
I'm so intrigued by this...popping amaranth! I've just switched off of all white rice and pastas so I'm looking at all of the various options...quinoa being the first. I keep seeing amaranth as one of the high protein grains. I can't wait to give it a try!

Ashley--> I would definitely try quinoa first as a cooked grain. Millet is a great grain too and has an even milder flavor. Amaranth is much stronger in flavor when cooked and too gummy in texture for me. However, when popped the flavor is mild and you still get all the good protein!
July 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthyme (sarah)
So ever since you posted the first amaranth recipe I have been obsessed! I love it and make variations all the time. I'm going to be so sad to be living in a dorm in three weeks (knowing that this probably won't be on the breakfast rotation in college ;) ) Anyways, I just wanted to say that, inspired by your 1/4 cup amaranth and 1/4 buckwheat combo I saw you post once I made a "granola" out of buckwheat and nuts (that I usually eat with my "cereal") basically just combining all the toppings I pair with my puffed amaranth into a granola binded by date paste and an egg white and it was surprisingly successful. I just thought I would give you the idea to possibly experiment with(:

Ashley--> Yesss!! So glad you like popped amaranth. In preparation for leaving, you could always pop a big batch and fill up a container or bag and keep it in a mini fridge! Your granola sounds awesome. Thanks for the tip!
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarly
It took me a few tries (and one burnt batch) to get this right, but wow! What a yummy and fun way to start the day! We do a monthly "Thank You" post, and I referred to you and this recipe in today's! Your posts are always inspiring--Thank You!!
August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey @ Pas de Deux
thanks for the love! those pbcups are BOMB.
August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDana @ Minimalist Baker
I just made this and it turned out fabulously! (After a few tries of course).

Ashley--> YES! So happy to hear!
August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina
I just bought Amaranth the other day to make this. Made a batch for me and the hubs yesterday and we had it this morning. Really delicious! Super easy and fun to make and I love the earthy flavor. Perfect for fall. Thank you!
September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChloe
@Chloe - SO glad to hear you had an easy time making it and that you both loved it. I never make it often enough but when I do I fall in love all over again. I'm always surprised at how filling it is. Thanks for the feedback!
September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Where can you buy amaranth? I have been buying it from Foodland (SA) but they no longer stock it as Orgran no longer sell it. Help please!
October 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendy C
I burned several batches following directions on other sites. Yours are the best directions ever! Thank you!
December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
@Wendy - You can typically find it at Whole Foods but if you don't have one in your area I suggest ordering it. I'm so sorry for the delay in answering your question!

@Alice - I am so glad to hear you got it to work! Thanks for letting me know. :)
December 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Love this, thank you
March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRunjhun
Just having my first bowl. I was surprised that you wouldn't add any oil as you would when making popcorn - had tried first batch using coconut oil :) First attempt my pan wasn't hot enough but I'll continue to practice...Thank you!
July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike
I have tried making this about six times now, and every time I do it either dosent pop all that much and slowly burns, or it burns too quickly and dosent pop enough. PLEASE HELP!
July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKira
I made this for breakfast for two of my sons this morning; they love it! I need to remember to curb my enthusiasm and not try to do more than just a little bit at a time, so it can pop w/o burning parts of it. Also, I need to have the bowl ready so the popped amaranth doesn't sit in the pan after popping--it'll singe.
July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
@Kira - Sorry for the slow response! The best tips I have to offer are in this post. If you give me more detail on your exact process that may be helpful in figuring out a solution! :)

@Linda - So glad the kiddos love it! Good point about having the bowl ready to go...I always do that as well but forgot to mention it!
July 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe, but I wonder what percentage of the grains we should expect to have pop? I've tried this in several different types of pans, covering for the duration of cooking, uncovered for the duration, different temp/time combos (slow and low seems to neutralize things and they never want to pop even if I turn the heat back up), different amounts of amaranth (never more than 1T since less seems to pop the more I add??) and have not had more than about 2/3 of them actually pop. But I have successfully run through almost 2cups of amaranth and am enjoying the lingering scent of burnt amaranth... Could it be the batch of grains I'm using? It doesn't seem logical to buy more when it burns before it all pops. Help!
August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
@Sarah - I would say that 85% are popped. I never notice a grainy, crunch from the un-popped grains and it does seem nearly impossible to get them to all pop. Kind of like popcorn! :) I've never had low and slow work and it may be an issue if you're turning the heat up from low while they're in the pot. The pot needs to be fully pre-heated [typically, medium high for me with a gas stove, stainless pots, and then add 2T amaranth] before adding the grains in and from there it takes just seconds. Have a bowl next to the stove to immediately empty the popped grains into so it doesn't burn sitting in the pot. Hope this helps!
August 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Hey, this sounds great! But I'm wondering where you get the "yay 2 cups and not a flimsy 3/4 cup!" serving size...I looked it up, and amaranth seems to have a TON of calories - over 700 in 1 cup! Yikes!
August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRene
@Rene - The 2 cups is figuring once popped, not 2 cups of raw amaranth. :) The 2 cups comes from about 6 tablespoons of raw amaranth, which would equal approximately 268 calories (using 717 cals in 1 cup). Those 6 tablespoons also include 10 grams of protein! With fruit, milk, and a sprinkling of nuts, you've got a nutrient dense + satiating meal! Of course the serving size can be adjusted to your specific needs. I eat quite a large breakfast. :)
August 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
I love popped amaranth and took the mesh spatter lid idea of a commenter above and used my mesh bowl shaped strainer w/handle. It worked great and it saved me burning any batches because I had a visual - and I just get a kick out of watching it pop :) I have a electric range and can’t always hear when the popping slows because of the pan sounds on the element. Thank you for your site!
October 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristine
Has this popping technique been tried in an electric hot air pop corn popper? Sorry this might just be "man" thinking. But i thought it worth asking.
I am trying my first recipe as i type.
Cheers everyone!
December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua
@Joshua - I've heard it makes a mess and the amaranth flies out everywhere...try at your own risk! ;)
December 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Just tried this. Amazing! Never had amaranth before. I made your popped amaranth and buckwheat groat cereal and topped with the cinnamon banana cereal milk. I think this is going to be breakfast for a long time. Thanks for the technique!
September 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkrystal

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.