NoochCorn and Amaranth “Popcorn”
Two of my favorite types of snacks that can easily be salty, sweet or a combination of both.
NoochCorn is a play on traditional popped corn but using Nutritional Yeast for the cheesy taste. Amaranth is a different type of grain that is not well known. It is packed with nutrition and loved by kids!
This snack is incredibly quick and simple, but you’ll find kids of all ages love it, whether vegan or not. Feel free to use even more nutritional yeast if you’re a fan!
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, or more if desired
- 1 teaspoon onion powder or granules
- Sea salt, to taste
- Optional: freshly ground black pepper
Pop the corn in an air popper or over the stove. Drizzle with the vegan butter and sprinkle with the additional seasonings. Stir well and enjoy!
This snack is pretty much my daughter’s all-time favorite—which makes me very happy, considering how insanely healthy amaranth is! In fact, it’s been specially classified by scientists due to its extremely high nutrient content. But forget all of that for now—just enjoy the world’s tiniest, most adorable little popcorn you and your kiddos ever laid tastebuds on.
Have the following items on hand:
- Amaranth grain (found in the bulk section of most health food stores)
- Neutral-flavored oil (such as sunflower or non-virgin coconut)
- Sea salt
- A medium-sized pot with a tight fitting lid. I use a stainless steel soup pot. Basically, you’ll want something that has a slippery surface so that the amaranth can easily slide around.
- Medium-sized bowl
To make popped amaranth:
- Get your pot to the right temperature. This is where most amaranth-popping wannabes fail. I was once that person. I gave up because it seemed my amaranth always burned and never popped. So be careful to have your pot at the right temperature.
- To do this: Place your pot over medium-high heat and add three amaranth grains. Cover and watch. Once the amaranth turns dark brown, you’re ready to go. Discard the browned amaranth and get ready to do this thing.
- Add just enough amaranth to barely cover the bottom of the pot with a single layer. (If you put too much amaranth in there, some will burn and some won’t pop at all). All of the amaranth needs to be touching the hot surface at once. I use about a teaspoon of amaranth for a medium-sized soup pot.
- Another important point—shake the pot constantly as soon as the amaranth grains are in it. Don’t stop shaking! Once the popping slows down, immediately empty them into the bowl. If you wait too long, the amaranth will burn.
- Continue to repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have enough popped amaranth to nibble on.
- To season: Melt a little bit of the oil in the pan and drizzle over the amaranth. Season with salt and stir well. Personally, I don’t like to use overpowering seasonings as I love to let the natural, wild, wonderful flavor of the amaranth come through!