Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to pop sorghum and amaranth

Yum
Since going corn-free, the thing I've missed the most is popcorn.  I grew up in a family where popcorn was practically its own food group.  And my little one is the same way, he loves his popcorn.  So, whenever I made him popcorn, it took everything I had to not consume a handful of it myself, even knowing the stomach ache I would get if I did consume it. So, when I discovered that other grains pop, I began testing them out to see which I like the best.


Popped Sorghum (the one on top in the picture above) is by far the winner.  See how it even resembles popcorn? It has a slightly sweet taste, just like sorghum and is amazing lightly salted, just like popcorn.  My older son, who has never been huge into popcorn, absolutely loved popped sorghum and whenever my little one asks for popcorn, he pipes in and asks for sorghum.

The runner-up is amaranth (the bottom one in the picture above).  It's absolutely tiny as a grain, so even popped it's still absolutely tiny.  So, isn't finger food like the sorghum is, but it's still delicious and really light in texture.  We call it 'ant popcorn' in our house, if you have little girls it could be 'fairy popcorn' instead. :) We either lightly salt it and eat it with a spoon.  Or I have found that it makes for a fantastic cereal with my non-dairy milk and cinnamon sprinkled over it.



So, you can actually see how much smaller sorghum and amaranth are compared to popcorn, I popped some for you...yeah, popcorn is monstrous.  But, another plus to both of these grains is that they are hull-less...meaning, no hulls stuck in your teeth after eating them. That was always my biggest complaint about popcorn.

I pop both of these on the stove top and it's incredibly fast and easy to do!

This post was shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free WednesdayGluten Free Wednesday and Whole Food Friday.

Popped Sorghum
1/8-1/4 cup popping sorghum grains (not all sorghum grains pop, so make sure you get popping sorghum)
1/2-1 teaspoon canola or coconut oil

Directions
Heat a saucepan (I use a 1 1/2qt one for 1/8 cup and a larger one for 1/4 cup) over medium-high heat until piping hot.  Add in oil and let it heat for a minute.  Add in the grains.  Once it starts popping, cover and shake the pot back and forth across the burner to keep the grains moving.  When the popping slows remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl, lightly salt and enjoy!

Note: Only pop small amounts (i.e. no more than a 1/4 cup) at a time, it pops better when there is less in the pan, so you'll just be wasting your grain if you add in more than a 1/4 cup at a time.  Just do multiple batches, it really only takes a minute.

Popped Amaranth
1/8-1/4 cup whole amaranth grains

Directions
Heat a saucepan (I use a 1 1/2qt one for 1/8 cup and a larger one for 1/4 cup) over medium-high heat until piping hot.  Add in the grains.  Once it starts popping, cover and shake the pot back and forth across the burner to keep the grains moving.  When the popping slows remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl, lightly salt and enjoy tiny 'popcorn' with a spoon, or add milk and cinnamon and eat it as cereal.

Note: Do not add oil to the pan if you are popping amaranth...it won't work.  It pops the best in a hot, dry pan.

13 comments:

  1. Do you think we could use butter to pop the sorghum? My kiddo has a corn allergy and misses popcorn like crazy. I bought him some already popped sorghum and didn't mind it but he said he really missed the buttery taste.

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    1. It's popped at a high enough temperature that it would burn the butter, but you could drizzle melted butter over the top of freshly popped sorghum...just like they do at movie theaters. :)

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    2. Ah, I didn't think about that. I'm gonna have to try that. Thanks, Paula

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    3. You could also use clarified butter, which has a much, much higher smoking point.

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  2. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! One of the things I miss the most is Popcorn, and my two kids are always very jealous of their friends. I cannot wait to try this out!

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  3. Why are people getting off corn? Corn is gluten free. What am I missing?

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    1. You're right corn is gluten free, but a few of us are unlucky enough to be intolerant to corn. I am one of those few. If you can have corn, enjoy it! But, I thought I'd share my replacement for popcorn, since I can't enjoy popcorn anymore without getting horribly sick.

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  4. and 90% of the corn is GMO

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  5. when i attempted to pop sorghum, the grains turned golden, then black in the pot and never ended up popping. they just ended up burning. how do i prevent this from happening??

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    Replies
    1. Not all sorghum is created equal. You do need to use popping sorghum, or you will just get burnt kernels.

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    2. My experience is that if I have the temp. high enough - med. high and the oil is hot then it will pop right away, but if I start at a low temp. then it won't pop and it will do what you mentioned above

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  6. Can sorghum or amaranth be popped in an air popper?

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    Replies
    1. I actually have never tried it, so I'm not sure. I'm sorry!

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