Last winter I got curious about amaranth, which is a tiny gluten-free seed that’s high in protein. I bought a bag with the notion that I would use it to make amaranth porridge inspired by this recipe in the NY Times. I discovered that amaranth porridge takes forever to make (30+ minutes!) and doesn’t taste that good, so the amaranth has been sitting in the cupboard ever since.

Till this weekend, when I decided to make granola with popped amaranth. I burnt the first batch of amaranth badly, stinking up the whole house. So 1/2 cup of scorched amaranth went into the garbage where it burnt a hole through the garbage bag and ended up spattered across the kitchen floor. Whoops!

The second time was a charm, and I can tell you this granola recipe is amazing. It took every ounce of my generosity to give some as a holiday present to a friend and she loved it too. I’ll definitely be making more very soon!

Inspired by this recipe at chow.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup amaranth seeds
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 350. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat – be patient and make sure it gets hot. When the pan is heated, add the amaranth and cover with a lid (the seeds will begin popping like mini popcorn kernels). Shake the pan continuously until about half of the seeds have popped, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a large bowl.
  2. Combine butter and honey in a small saucepan, place over medium heat, and stir until butter has melted. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, salt, and cinnamon; and set aside.
  3. Add sugar mixture, walnuts, coconut, and oats to reserved amaranth and stir until mixture is moist throughout.
  4. Evenly spread mixture on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir and continue to bake until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes more.
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Stir in cranberries and serve.

Perfection!