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I’ve found that when amaranth is not as fresh, such as what’s from the bulk section, it can dry out. Once dry, there's no moisture in the center, therefore it can't expand when heated. And as such, won't pop. So, if you have older, dry amaranth, soak overnight and then try the frying pan method. Hope that helps!
Actually, I just saw a recipe that called for Amaranth and one other grain to make a crust. It sounded really good. If I can find it, I will post it. (I'm still determined to use amaranth as a staple food, just like I do quinoa and millet.
I too like many of you have had difficulty trying to get the amaranth popped. I first tried it in the pan and it burnt instantly...then tried my popcorn maker and found that all the seeds fell down through the vents in the machine and burnt as well. I had to throw out the popcorn maker. I gave up on the popping amaranth until I was thrilled to find it in a health food store on 64th near Costco in Langley. It is called Amaranth Puffs and the brand is GOGO QUINOA www.gogoquinoa.com. Ask your local health food store if they can bring it in for you or try online. It is worth it because the recipes calling for amaranth puffs are great.
We tried as suggested in the Thrive book the first time and all we managed was to burn it. Last night my wife finally got the hang of it. We put very little in one of our steel frying pans with NO coconut oil. We found that the oil just made it stick in the pan and burn. Once it started to pop at all we removed the pan from the heat and palced a lid over it to contain the stuff- removing it from the heat seemed to allow all of it to pop and not burn. Dumped it out and put another spoonfull in. After the pan got to the right temp we were able to get it to pop without even placing it back on the burner for a few spoonfuls. A few piece flew out but we were able to get a cup of it fairly quickly once the pan was hot.