A POP of Protein

By Kelly Behr 

 

Ever since Chef Steve started at Native Foods he has been filling me with a wealth of food information. One day we were talking about grains. He was one of the first chefs who really started to utilize quinoa. But, it doesn't stop there. There are so many grains out there that I had never even heard of and I thought it would be fun to look up these grains and see what they could be used for. 

My favorite so far has been this tiny little grain called Amaranth. 

 

Grain1

I read this grain is full of protein, (13-14%! and it is a complete protein being that it has lysine, which most other grains lack) which is great news for us vegans! But not only that, you can pop it like popcorn. I read that this is a popular way to make it in South America. I was pretty skeptical about this tiny little grain being able to pop I decided to give it a whirl. 

I heated up my skillet. I tested the temperature with a little drop of water (if the water evaporates after bubbling around for a few seconds, you are ready). 

I put one teaspoon of the grain into the pan because I was unsure of how this was going to go and I covered it immediately. (Good thing or those little grains would be all over my kitchen). 

 

 

But the weird part is, it actually tastes just like popcorn. It is like the dipping dots version of popcorn! I used some salt and ate it with a spoon since it was so tiny, but I have to say, it was delicious! 

 

Grain2

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