Amaranth and nut crunch, gluten free

This crunch is a healthy-err version of a peanut brittle or muesli bar. Don’t feel tied down by the nuts in your pantry. (And certainly, never let a nut tie you down in the pantry.) Whilst the recipe called for cashews, there was nary a one to be seen in my household. I used what nuts I had, almonds and pecans. Walnuts or hazelnuts would also be totally ace.

Generally speaking, eating a handful of nuts a day is not a bad thing. They are chock full of healthy fats and can assist in lowering cholesterol. Anyone with nut allergy issues may like to try substituting the nuts with a combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and hempseeds.

Alongside all of this nutty goodness, there is the addition of the quite excellent gluten-free crazy perfectly sphere shaped grain, amaranth. This grain can be traced back to ancient Aztec times. (Nothing like a spot of cereal when you have just finished sacrificing someone.) In the gluten-free grain stable, it is a winner. High in protein, iron, the amino acid lysine, magnesium calcium and fibre. Amaranth is also low in carboyhydrates.

This super poppy, crispy snack is akin to a light rice bubble bar and is a little bit sweet, a little bit savoury. It is the perfect crunchy tidbit to quell those afternoon hunger cravings.

Thanks to my dear friend N, who passed on this recipe. This post is dedicated to all the nuts in my life. Including myself.


2 cups popped amaranth
1 cup roasted unsalted cashews (I used pecans), roughly chopped
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
25g butter, melted
2 tbl rice malt syrup
1 tbl honey
A drizzle of vanilla essence (or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder)
Big pinch sea salt

Preheat an oven to 150C and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until they are well mixed and wet. They won’t really stick together.
Pat the mixture onto the tray.
Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Let the mixture cool on the tray then snap into shards.
You will have trouble stopping yourself from eating it all.
Store in an airtight container.

Recipe given by a friend, no idea where it came from before that.

13 thoughts on “Amaranth and nut crunch, gluten free

    • It was really hard to stop eating. I have started to add the popped amaranth to my gf granola mix as well. Quite a cool addition to the pantry. And I agree, it’s our open foodie minds that allow us to keep growing. (In our minds and waistlines..ha ha..well, mine anyway….)

  1. I have never tried amaranth! How do you pop it? Do you buy it that way? It looks a lot better than quinoa. (I’m just not a quinoa person.)
    I could craft a whole story around being tied down in the pantry! To quote an old commercial, sometimes you feel like a nut πŸ™‚

    • He he…that is a story I would like to read! You can buy it as a grain (like quinoa) or already popped/puffed. I have seen recipes where you can pop it yourself, like popcorn. But I have not yet attempted that. I think you would like the puffed amaranth, it doesn’t have the over the top earthy/muddy flavour of quinoa.

      • I don’t mind the flavor of quinoa, it’s the texture that weirds me out. But the popped amaranth sounds good. I’m waiting for your post on do-it-yourself popping!

      • The day I exploded my kitchen trying to pop amaranth, stay tuned. I have to add lots of other strong delicious flavours and other textures to really enjoy quinoa.

      • The best quinoa I’ve had was in a Peruvian restaurant. They knew exactly what to do with it, but I was not able to reproduce that. It’s tricky to cook–for me it turns out either grainy or mushy.

  2. Oh yeah, this bubbly bunch of beautiful ingredients is a happy smile waiting to happen. I love amaranth in all its indomitable ancientness. Puffed amaranth is nearly impossible to pin down in my neck of the woods, as no one outside a facility you can just hose down after the process is too excited to make it, therefore, I may have to substitute puffed millet or Kamut. I’ll toy with it. We’ll make it work.
    You truly are a nut, Cheergerm, but your nutty nature is what keeps me hungry for more.

    • Thought this one may be just up your alley Mrs P! I have seen recipes for popping the amaranth yourself but think it would be a messy process….maybe if done on an outside BBQ? With a face mask on and hazmat suit…how messy could it be? I did buy some puffed millet the other day and was going to add that in next time. Nuts of the world unite!

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