Puffed amaranth

I discovered puffed amaranth after I discovered crispy quinoa. Turns out, more grains than just corn can be popped and eaten as is. Below, I’ve given the simple way amaranth is puffed (or popped), along with how it tastes and what it can be used for.

What puffed amaranth tastes like

Puffed amaranth tastes like popcorn, but the extremely miniature amaranth version. Unlike crispy quinoa, this is light, fluffy, and airy. For someone familiar with the taste of amaranth, the flavor is apparent. However, it is subtle enough to blend into the background if paired with something else.

Uses for puffed amaranth

Puffed amaranth is so small and coy, it can really be added to numerous things. Below, I’ve given some of the ways I prefer to use puffed amaranth, as well as how I’ve seen others do it.

Eat as is

Some people claim that amaranth can be a good substitute for popcorn. I mean, technically, it can. It is a very minute version of the well-known snack. But, that’s exactly the problem. I imagine eating this while watching a movie, knowing that 50% is probably missing my mouth. Personally, I don’t think I will eat it this way, but it is certainly a viable option for someone else.

Nut and date balls

Nut and date balls can have a variety of additions to them. Puffed amaranth adds a pleasant airiness, and along with the tiniest nutritional value boost.

Chocolate bites

Chocolate bites, by technical definition, are ‘melted chocolate with stuff added in then cooled and eaten’. These were inspired by the crispy quinoa bites I tried from the grocery store. They do have a different texture, but are just as enjoyable as anything covered in chocolate typically is.


I haven’t really gotten around to making granola, but this is something that certainly could be added. Just like the date and nut balls, puffed amaranth would be a pleasant addition without changing the original too much.


Some people also apparently eat this for breakfast with just milk. It’s not for me, but is another option maybe worth considering.

How to puff amaranth

Puffing amaranth is surprisingly simple. Just like popcorn without the oil, you preheat a large pot over medium-high (7). Once it’s hot, simply add the amaranth, and swirl. Once popping slows, empty the pot into a mesh strainer. This will get rid of some of the unpopped or burned seeds. Here are a few things to note:

  • This is best done before you sweep the floor. Although not as forceful as popcorn, some (although not too much) amaranth will pop out of the pot. I tried putting the lid on like when making popcorn, but because the pop time is so short, it was too much of a hassle.
  • The amaranth needs to be cooked in a single layer. Depending on the size of your pot, this is probably around 1 Tbsp. Less is fine, but more may result in uneven cooking and an unpleasant result.
  • The unpopped amaranth is quite easy to distinguish. The popped ones, although they turn somewhat golden, are much lighter than their burned or unpopped counterparts.
Puffed vs. unpuffed amaranth
Puffed vs. unpuffed amaranth
Puffed amaranth

Puffed amaranth

Yield: 2 Tbsp.
Cook Time: 15 seconds
Total Time: 15 seconds

A miniature version of popcorn that is delightful and airy.


  • 1 Tbsp. dry, uncooked amaranth 


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high (7). Once hot, add the amaranth.
  2. Swirl pot until popping stops, around 15 seconds. Sift out unpopped seeds.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lucia Antonelli

    Can I still eat the unpopped seeds? They are no longer raw, just a dark brown…I am having trouble popping mine. Could it be the origin of the amaranth? Organic from India.Anna and Sarah Organic brand I am frustrated!

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