Amaranth is a powerhouse of nutrients and it is easy to prepare amaranth popcorn in less than 10 minutes. It is a quick snack, cereal and an add on to a lot of foods.
What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is a seed and a pseudo grain just like quinoa. It is an ancient grain, cultivated since over 8000 years. Seeds look similar to poppy seeds and has an earthy taste. It is high in protein, fiber, iron and a few other minerals. It is a gluten free seed and a good one to include in your diet if trying to lose weight and are gluten intolerant.
Iron Rich Food
This year I am doing an A-Z series with iron rich food as the theme. I will be focusing on iron rich ingredients. I have not made the list of all the ingredients yet and I will hit a wall when I reach some of the challenging alphabets later on. Hence, I am not restricting to only iron rich ingredients and might feature iron rich food as well. Every month I will post 3 recipes and this month it is the first three alphabets. First in the series is amaranth. Amaranth is rich in iron. One cup of cooked amaranth has 29% of reference daily intake.
How to Include Amaranth in our Diet?
There are many ways to include it in our diet. The easiest is popped amaranth. Amaranth popcorn is a great snack as it is and also a great add on to a lot of food. Add it to salads, veggie burger patties, to chocolate barks, topping on cereal for some extra crunch and nutrition.
Couple of days ago I had some left over toffee custard from banoffie pie. My breakfast that day was a sweet breakfast, mixed fruits with some toffee custard topped with lots of popped amaranth.
Porridge is another great way to include amaranth into daily diet. I cooked amaranth without soaking it and it was good but I do want to experiment with it a bit more, perhaps soak the seeds overnight for a smooth porridge.
Use amaranth just like quinoa but only difference between the two pseudo grains is that amaranth does not retain its shape after cooking like quinoa does. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful seed to include in your diet. Use amaranth in dishes in place of pasta or rice. Add it to soups and smoothies.
How to make Amaranth Popcorn?
It is very easy to pop amaranth, just like popping corn. Heat a pan, add the seeds and let it pop. However, there are a few tips to follow before running off to pop some amaranth. 1 cup of amaranth yields about 3 cups of amaranth popcorn.
Tips for popping amaranth
Amaranth Popcorn Recipe
Amaranth Popcorn ~ Popped Amaranth
- Heavy bottom high sided saucepan or a dutch oven
- Sieve or a strainer
- ¼ cup Amaranth
- Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan or a dutch oven until hot.
- Sprinkle a few drops of water on the pan. If water forms bubbles right away, the pan is ready.
- Reduce the heat to medium high. Depending on the thickness of the pan, reduce the flame to medium or medium high.
- Sprinkle about a tablespoon of seeds on the pan and let the seeds puff.
- Shake the pan for even popping of the seeds.
- Take care not to burn the popped seeds and transfer as soon as pops reduce.
- Repeat to pop all the seeds.
- Run the popped seeds through the sieve to filter burnt or un-popped seeds.
- Let the seeds cool completely and store in an airtight container.
- Use a high sided pan such as a dutch oven or a sauce pan else you will have popped seeds all over the cooking range.
- Heat pan to the right temperature. An easy test to determine this is to drop a few drops of water on a hot pan. If water forms bubbles right way, the pan is hot enough and ready to use.
- Shake the pan frequently so all the seeds are popped.
- You may have to discard the first couple of batches if the pan is too hot or not hot enough. In both the cases, seeds will burn. In the video if you closely observe, my pan is slightly burnt when popping the seeds. After the water test, I was busy adjusting the camera and forgot to reduce the flame. That resulted in an over heated pan and had to discard the first batch.
- Do not cover the pan. Since the seeds pop with in seconds, covering the pan is not necessary.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#108.