Popped Super Grain Amaranth and Fruit Tricolor Cracker

Introduction: Popped Super Grain Amaranth and Fruit Tricolor Cracker

About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.

Amaranth is a super grain because it has 26g protein per cup (193g) (Wheat has 26g, rice has 5g), a complete protein profile, a good source of key vitamins, minerals such as calcium and iron, and a good source of fiber. Not only that, it is one of the alternative grains for wheat free or gluten free diet.

When I started an elimination diet of dairy, egg, fish and shell fish, peanut and tree nuts, soy, wheat, rice, corn, millet, and tapioca for my baby due to food protein allergies and intolerances, I found I was dying of lack of protein intake from the dozen regular foods that were eliminated for now. When I found out about amaranth's super food profile I immediately bought a bag of amaranth.

Based on the information on the bag, boil amaranth in water, fluff with a fork, and I shall have something like rice to eat. What a lie! It looked and tasted like the sand in a river bed. I ate it anyway because nothing else to eat and prayed I wouldn't get stomachache or die. I ate it for three more days. Good news is my baby was fine with me eating it. That's when I started to do research and experiment with it.

When I read somewhere amaranth can be popped like popcorn and eaten like cereal, I immediately dropped some in my popcorn air popper. Silly me! They all fell through the air holes at the bottom of the popper, I had to disassemble it to dump the grains out. Then I tried non stick pot to pop it. It worked but I didn't like the idea of dry heating non-stick pot and shaking it over the burner. Popping totally does the justice. I like the nutty flavor of popped amaranth. So I tried popping it with a stainless steel pot I have, it worked well. I'm happy heating and shaking the pot, soon became a pro amaranth popper, amaranth became the new wheat and rice for me, a hero and super food for me because of its protein amount, protein profile and other nutrition stats.

Once amaranth popped, like it is said, it can be eaten as puff cereal; used as one of major granola components. Since I have been on the total elimination diet, I found it is impossible to find any snack in stores for me. So I developed this cracker that I can pop it in my mouth at any time and eat as finger food. It is crunchy like corn chips with sweet and tangy fruit flavor. If anyone in a party happens to be on as restrictive diet as I'm on and finds there is such tasty, healthy cracker to eat, they'll cry a river I think. On elimination diet or not, anybody can enjoy this cracker. To get popping and crunching, below are what were used:

1 cup dry amaranth (makes about 4 and 1/2 cups popped amaranth) for 3 types of crackers

1 stainless steel pot with long handle and see through glass lid

100g dried apricot and 120g frozen peaches for yellow cracker (fresh peaches if in season)

100g dried prune and 120g frozen peaches for dark cracker (fresh peaches if in season)

100g dried apricot and 2 small to medium kiwi fruit for light greenish cracker


Baking sheet

Kitchen rotary cutter or scissors

Below are the 1-2-3 steps to make it.

Step 1: Pop Amaranth

A stainless steel pot with long handle and see through glass lid is a must.

Heat the pot on medium to high heat for a few minutes.

Drop only 1/4 tsp or so amaranth to test the temperature, if the grains pop immediately and become dark in color, the pot is too hot; if the grains takes long to pop or not pop but become dark in color, the pot is not hot enough, discard the burnt batch, adjust the heat and time you drop the second batch of the dry grains and it is the right hotness at any second. Once it's ready, you can keep popping without stopping.

Please view my video for reference.

Step 2: Prepare Fruit

Use TIME DEFROST function to defrost frozen peaches on bursts of 3 minutes until defrosted.

Chopped dried apricot and dried plum to small pieces.

Peel and cut kiwi to chunks.

Add each pair of fruits to your blend.

Use Pulse and High Puree or whatever function that works to blend the fruits to thick puree. Add water 1 tbsp. at a time to get your blender going if it's too thick for it. I didn't need to add any water for the cracker using fresh kiwi.

Empty the puree to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. to be sure, I used a lightly oily brush on the parchment paper.

Spread the puree to a consistent thin layer on the baking sheet, the thinner the better, I used a soft tip spatula. It actually takes time to do this. I found doing it slowly is the quickest way to do it.

Generously sprinkle popped amaranth over the fruit base, I used one cup per sheet. Pat over the top so they stay bound.

Step 3: Bake

Bake at lowest oven temperature which is 170F on mine for 4 hours. Set timer at 3 hours to check on it.

When you break off a small piece on the edge and it's crunchy, it's done. When it's cool, it will be crunchier.

Peel away the parchment paper, let it cool.

Break the whole sheet to small pieces or use kitchen rotary cutter or scissors to cut to small pieces. If you want the cracker to be regular shapes and sizes, remove it from oven at 3 hour point when it's still hot and pliable, cut it to regular crackers, return it to oven to bake until they are crunchy.

Store in airtight container if not consumed right away.

Step 4: Serve

Serve just it or sprinkle light sea salt to add zest to the flavor.

This Instructable will be entered in a couple of contests. Please vote for it If you like it. I really appreciate your vote which means a lot to me. Thanks.

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    7 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Thank you so much for creating a recipe my son and I can eat!! I can't wait to make this tomorrow. My son has so many allergies that we have to make everything from scratch. We had only ever ate popped amaranth which we love but if he breaths it flies all over the floor and gets messy. Since I'm still nursing in on his diet as well. I've been wanting something like a cracker for so long! I'm hoping this will do the trick! Do you think I could try this recipe with other fruits as well? If so any suggestions?


    Reply 4 years ago

    Any sticky, drier fruits should work (it takes longer to dry if you use watery fruit). You can try dried blue berries, raisins, dates, figs, goji berries, jujube (red dates) as long as you know your son doesn't have a problem with them. I suppose you can also ground the popped amanranth in a coffee grinder to make it more like a flour cracker (I haven't tried that).

    I'm curious are your son's allergies identified or are you still trying to identify?

    My son had diarrhea since birth. I was on and off a total elimination diet (I mainly eat rice) for a few months until he was found to be rice intolerant by accident. Then I was on a total elimination plus one (rice) diet for several months. I mainly ate potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, they are extremely high in carbohydrate. I stayed on it too long. Now my son is 2 but I'm still trying to fight off the negative effect of that diet-I was on the edge of diabetic. I say this not to scare you. I just wish you get enough proteins so your health isn't harmed by the elimination diet.

    Since we have similar experience, if you are interested, you can read part of my journey related to food allergies and nursing here: http://www.thephdhomemaker.com/#!Is-GlutenFree-Die...

    Best wishes to motherhood!



    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks for the info. My sons 19 months old. We did skin prick test when he was 9 months old and blood work. I had to eliminate a ton of food. Then a month later switched to a new allergist ( my other soon used for asthma & ENT) they re tested and noticed the foods I added to my diet he was allergic too. Then a few months ago he still broke out horribly from his poop when it touched his skin and more hives all of a sudden for about a month. I did research and realized he probably had more legume allergies, they tested him & we added peas, chick peas, & lentils to the list. Those 3 items we were eating daily. Now all we eat it potatoes,rice,quinoa,amaranth,oats,fruit, bk beans, kidney beans, & the few vegetables he's not allergic to. He's allergic too: milk,soy,wheat,gluten,corn,peanuts,cashews,almonds,peas,lentils,white beans, chick peas, egg whites. What allergies does your son have? It's been challenging but I haven't really met any other moms who are in my situation which makes it difficult. I still suspect he could have a black bean allergy, millet, or buckwheat allergy but it hasn't been confirmed.


    Reply 4 years ago

    It must be tough for you to find things to eat. If you aren't vegetarian, you may talk to your doctor about eating fish and different meats. I read that vegetables, meats or things you have never eaten before are less likely to cause problems. It's good you can eat a few beans. I didn't eat any beans because they are said to cause gas which is one of my son's major symptoms. His belly was hard as rock. I massaged him at every diaper change. He let out gas like a popping machine. Gas made loud rambling sound in his belly. My son's skin prick test confirmed only walnut allergy. Because rice is considered hypoallergic, we went to the wrong direction as far as elimination diet and testing going. We didn't test rice or any other uncommon allergens, even if we did, it wouldn't be identified because it's not allergy but intolerance. He still can't eat rice, probably for the rest of his life. He probably has another one two grains intolerances but the symptoms aren't sever to pinpoint them. My son also had tongue tie, laryngomalacia, acid reflex. We also thought physical therapy for his head shape. I prepped myself to raise a sick child. But it turns out he is just as healthy and strong as any child can be. So carrying on your hard work. You too will come through this with a much easier tomorrow.


    5 years ago on Step 3

    What a great treat, snack or part of lunch!