Popped Amaranth Granola “Parfait”


Amaranth is my new favorite grain. I’ve cooked with it a lot recently and I’m not sorry. This nutty grain is a chameleon in the culinary world: I’ve eaten it like rice, cooked into pudding, baked into bread, and popped in granola.

How about a holiday batch of granola?

(By the way, if you’re wondering what popped amaranth looks like, check out the next picture.)


This fiber-rich granola has a wonderfully nutty texture and contains green pumpkin seeds and goji berries for a little color. Sprinkle over yogurt for the ultimate breakfast treat.


Sadly, these pictures are a lie. That’s right, folks. I work hard to give you the latest nutrition information and guide you with the most stringent truthfulness, but when it comes to food photography, I sometimes lie like a rug.

Why are these pictures untruthful? Let me back up a bit.


Recently, I filmed a cooking segment on WICD ABC News Channel 15, demonstrating how to make a healthy breakfast parfait with popped amaranth granola. You can see the segment here. Pay attention at about 2:50 for my unsuccessful struggles to turn off the burner. That thing was hot. By the time the segment was over, I was sweating more than a glass of iced tea on a hot porch (and you’re welcome for that visual, dear reader).

I lugged my enormous camera to the studio to take pictures of (1) the parfait, and (2) myself. Can you guess how many of those I remembered to get?

(If you guessed none, you win a picture of the parfait. And if you’re excited to receive this prize, then you guessed wrong. A no-win situation.)

That’s why these lying pictures are of a yogurt-fruit-granola breakfast in non-parfait form. Someday I’ll get a decent parfait picture. That day is not today.

Also, I didn’t get a picture of myself posing awkwardly with the ingredients, so I took a lame-o screenshot from the video instead.

lamo screenshot

In truth, I took a lot of screenshots. The above picture is the only one where I don’t look pained or like I’m about the clobber the poor anchor standing three feet to my left. Trust me. You don’t want to see those.

What? You want the parfait recipe instead of listening to me blabber about something or other screenshot blah iced tea bibble blah?

Your wish is my command.

Healthy Breakfast Parfait with Popped Amaranth Granola

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 15 minutes

  Keywords: breakfast amaranth yogurt

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 cup amaranth
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or goji berries
  • 4 cups nonfat or 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fruit of choice (e.g. berries, banana slices, kiwi slices)


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. In two separate batches of 1/2 cup each, add amaranth to hot pan. Cover with lid or splatter screen and continuously shake pan until half the seeds have popped, about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

Combine oats, shredded coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Add amaranth and toss. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine canola oil, brown sugar, and honey/maple syrup in a small saucepan. Heat gently over medium-low heat until brown sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Drizzle over oat mixture and toss to combine.

Spread granola evenly on two lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Stir in dried fruit.

In four parfait glasses, layer yogurt, granola, and fruit as desired (1 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup granola, and 1/2 cup fruit in each glass). Serve.

Cook’s note: Recipe makes 7 cups granola. Store leftovers in airtight container in cool, dry place.

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P.S. I posted this picture of a granola practice session on THIH’s Facebook page last week. Yes, folks. This abomination belongs firmly in kitchen disasters.

gross times two

P.P.S. I can’t leave you with the above picture. Wouldn’t be right. Instead, this.

crazy eyes


  1. I’ve actually never had regular amaranth before let alone popped it!! This parfait sounds awesome. And I totally won’t tell about the picture not actually being a parfait. we’ll just keep that between us.

  2. You did great on the TV segment!

    I still have to try amaranth! Popping it sounds like a lot of fun; I’m sure I could recruit my little sous chef to help me! 😉

  3. Jessie’s on TV!
    I need to find some amaranth to try – you sell it well. 🙂
    I hope you have a good weekend!

  4. Woohoo! Television here you come! I have no doubt you would be fabulous hosting your own show! Dream big Jessie! You look like a natural. And this granola looks and sounds so good. I’ve never cooked with amaranth before and I need to try!

  5. Isn’t being on TV so fun?! You did great Jessie! you look amazing too!
    You really crack me up.
    And thanks for another great way to use popped amaranth. I’m really into it, thanks to you (although they tend to get stuck in my teeth….)

  6. I had amaranth in Argentina for the first time, and it was a savory dish with wild mushrooms & veggies. The ‘popped’ amaranths provide a beautiful texture in your delicious granola parfait! Congrats with the filming for ABC News Channel 15, that’s incredible and you look fantastic in the segment!

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