Have you heard of amaranth before? This teeny, tiny gluten-free grain is on track to reach superfood status with its health benefits and the multitude of ways that it can be prepared. Much like quinoa and the Incas, the Aztecs upheld amaranth as a sacred crop and used the grains to make ceremonial foods for religious ceremonies.
Amaranth is a purplish-red flowering plant that can reach heights of up to 6 feet with beautiful edible leaves. When the flower itself is dried the yellowish pinhead-sized amaranth seeds are easily shaken out. These earthy seeds can then be ground into flour, cooked like cereal, or even popped like miniature popcorn without the oil. Neat huh?!
I first learned about popping amaranth and serving it as a customizable breakfast cereal from a post on Edible Perspective a few years ago and I’m not sure what took me so long to try it myself. Although I don’t think you will find me standing in the kitchen popping it for breakfast, I do happen to like it mixed into my favorite portable breakfast food — granola bars.
After having popped amaranth a few times now, I have some helpful tips for you:
To store the bars, wrap them individually with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. The bars will harden in the refrigerator, but will soften again after they’ve been out of the fridge for a few minutes.
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