How To Make Puffed Amaranth Cereal

You want me to make my own cereal?

It sounds a little strange doesn't it? Maybe even like a lot of work. I mean why would anyone want to bother making cereal when they just go to the grocery store and buy a box that has pretty designs and tastes great. . . Have you ever read the ingredients on a box of cereal before?

...Hydrogenated Palm Kernal Oil, Mono -and Diglycerides, Glucose-Fructose, Artificial Sweeteners & Colour/Dyes (red #40, blue #2), BHT preservative, and don't forget all the sugar and salt...My point exactly. After reading an ingredient list like that I wouldn't want to eat it.

Of course there are some cereal brands that are better for you, such as Nature's Path, Erewhon, Barbara's cereal's, and some President's Choice Organics cereals. They still have a lot of sugar though, so I try not to consume boxed cereals too often. 

When I tried popping amaranth for the first time it was quick and way easier than I thought it would be. Instead of cooking the grain in a liquid to make a porridge you pop it in a covered pan over medium-high to high heat. Just like making popcorn! It smells and tastes like it too. It has a really nice nutty flavour. I also highly recommend using it as a salad topping. 

3 tbsp of seed will make about 1 cup of popped amaranth. There's no need to grease the pan. You do however need to make sure that the pan is very hot first before you add the seeds to it. It's also very important to work in small batches; 1-2 tbsp at a time is good. 

Puffed Amaranth (1/4 cup raw = approx. 1 cup) Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) raw amaranth 


  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium/high heat. The pan is ready to go when a droplet of water evaporates on contact with the surface of the pan.
  2. Once the pot is heated, add the amaranth working in batches of 1 tbsp at a time (this allows for even heating and better popping). Give the pot a quick shake to evenly spread the amaranth. You'll know if you have the right heat setting if it starts to pop within a few seconds. It will finish within 10-15 seconds. 
  3. When the popping begins to slow quickly remove it from the heat and empty it into a bowl.
  4. Return the pot to the stove and let it heat back up againg. Repeat the process until the amount to pop is finished.
  5. Let the puffed amaranth cool completely for storing or consume right away topped with your favourites: milk, berries, nut butter, yogurt, dried fruits, banana etc.


  • Use a heavy bottomed pot that's at least 4 inches deep.
  • If your pot is hot enough, the seeds should start to pop right away once they are added.
  • Cover the pot with a lid! Otherwise it will go everywhere.
  • Work with batches no bigger than 2 tbsp at a time. You'll want a thin, even layer to cover the surface of the pot for even heating. 
  • It may take a few burnt batches to get the hang of it. But don't get discouraged, it's definitely worth it. You just have to figure out the right heat setting for your stove top. 
  • If your amaranth burns instantly, turn down the heat. Your pan is too hot.
  • Just as the popping begins to slow, empty the amaranth into a nearby bowl so it won't have time to burn.

Nutritional Info for a 1 cup serving of puffed amaranth cereal:

It would be a great idea to make a larger batch and store the popped amaranth in a jar or sealed container for convenience. After popping make sure it's cooled completely and then jar it. It'll keep for a couple of months in the fridge.

This is definitely a new favourite that I'm adding to my breakfast line up. 

I thought you all would love to know that you can now buy popped amaranth from 5AM online. I just received my first bag and I was really impressed. The popping is very consistent and just as it should be. It's a great product! Perfect for when you don't feel like doing the work yourself.

Great Grains: Amaranth

Spring has sprung! Well...sort of...that's what it feels like these last few days. Last week was another story. I think it snowed a little bit every day...just to anger me. For now the sun is shining, snow removal is in the works (yes you heard me right) and it's 5*C, woohoo! I'm itching to get back on my bike and hit some trails. Le sigh. At least Spring is making promises.  Let's just pretend it's not supposed to snow tomorrow mmmmk?

Good. First I have some news to share. I've finally created a facebook fan page for edible sound bites. If you'd like to follow me you can find the link to the side of the page under the Subscribe & Follow heading. Please follow, I'd love to hear your feedback if your a fan! 

The second bit of news is a little more exciting; I've been choosing from a select few to appear in the next FOODIE iPad Cookbook App. My recipe for Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter will be featured along with 40 other recipes. I'm not sure how much info I can giveaway, but the FOODIE cookbook app has previously been featured in USA Today, Mashable, and Consumer Reports. I'm super excited! I will definitely post a link when I have one.  

Now let's get to the next post in my gluten free Great Grain's series. If you aren't caught up yet here are my previous posts on Buckwheat and Millet

Say hello to Amaranth.

Amaranth Nutrition Profile

Amaranth Notes

This tiny little seed is one highly nutritious gluten free grain. While it may look like millet or quinoa, I assure you it's not. Amaranth is actually quite smaller in size and whiter in colour. We're talking teeny tiny! It has a slightly sticky texture when cooked the traditional way in liquid, is nutrient rich, and high in fiber. It also has a high concentration of lysine, an essential amino acid (one of the building blocks of protein). For a bit of historical fun, it dates back 8,000 years to when it was used by the ancient Aztecs as food staple.

Personally it's one of my fave gluten free grains. I love the texture, taste and versatility of it. Even more so I love it's nutrition. You've gotta love slow digesting carbs for stable energy and blood sugar.

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition profile for 1 cup of cooked amaranth (1/4 cup dry):

Amaranth Nutrition

With high amounts of protein, fiber, calcium, lysine, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B2 and folic acid you can't go wrong. It actually contains more protein than any other gluten free grains and more protein than wheat. In fact, the protein content of amaranth is similar to the proteins found in cow's milk. It's a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in most other grains. Bottom line - amaranth is an excellent plant source of high quality proteins that are well absorbed when eaten. Take that quinoa! Just kidding, I still love you quinoa.

With a low glycemic index, amaranth is also slightly lower in carbohydrates than other gluten free grains.


Where To Buy Buckwheat

Like other gluten free/ specialty grains it's not easily found in grocery stores. I find it in the healthy food store or of course Whole Foods and specialty grocery stores like Nature's Emporium. Here the link to buy online from one of my favourites Bob's Red Mill; buy organic amaranth online.

Preparing and Cooking

Just prior to cooking, rinse and strain your amaranth throughly in cold water until the water runs clear to remove any dirt. To cook, boil 1 cup of amaranth in 2 1/2 cups of liquid such as water, vegetable or chicken stock, or milk of any kind (cow's, coconut, almond etc). Reduce heat and simmer for 18-20 minutes until tender. Fluff with a fork a serve. Take care not to over cook it as it can become "gummy" in texture.

Keep amaranth stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, out of direct light. When stored in the fridge it will keep for 3 to 6 months.

How to cook amaranth


Get grinding and make some flour! Amaranth makes a sweet, spicy, earthy, nutty flavoured flour best used in waffles, pancakes, cookies, muffins and quick breads. Just don't use amaranth flour exclusively in gluten free baking because your end result will be too dense. You'll need to blend it with a variety of gluten free flours, especially for baking yeast breads and cookies, pancakes should be okay though. 

By nature, amaranth absorbs water very easily making it a good thickener for soups with added nutrition.

It can be cooked as a cereal and used as a replacement for oatmeal. Sprouted and placed in salads. Toasted is another great way to use amaranth. Just toast and add to yogurt, smoothies, trail mix etc. 

My personal favourite is popping the tiny seeds like popcorn... Post to come!


Happy Easter everyone!!! Have a great weekend.