A popcorn alternative has been high on my list of things to find lately.
After all, popcorn corn-free options do exist you just have to know what you are looking for!
Popcorn Alternative + The Food Allergy Thing
My daughter was recently diagnosed with a corn allergy and it makes snacking very hard.
Everything she has come to know as normal has changed.
But, I can assure you there is a popcorn alternative for those with corn allergies, in fact, there are alternatives (plural) to popcorn!
Because of this, I have been reading and researching every possible way to provide my kids with a snack that tastes like the popcorn that they crave.
We have done some serious taste-testing as popcorn is a staple in her life.
So, after lots of testing, and different purchases we’ve struck corn-free gold!
Ready to find out the popcorn alternative for those with corn allergies?
Walking the Walk and Talking The Talk. Food Allergy Survival
Talking the talk and walking the walk with each of you!
The most dreaded words in our house, ‘You were found to be allergic to…’ and that means….you can no longer eat this or that!
It’s been difficult navigating a few years in my home.
In fact, it started with my son, who kept throwing up everything I made for any meal on his plate at the table.
Nope, it wasn’t him being a total goofball, it was food allergies.
The more we learned, the worse it got!
So, to be very clear, food allergies are something I have been dealing with in my home for over 15+ years.
However, my daughter’s corn allergy caught me totally off guard.
Corn-Free? What Do We Do for Alternatives to Popcorn?
Therefore, when my daughter was diagnosed with a corn allergy, I was stunned.
Literally, this topped off the no seafood, nuts, latex, most fruits, and most vegetables, honey, bee products, and other foods we were already avoiding.
Yeah, there should be an eye-roll inserted here because my life just was over-the-top chaos.
Meal planning took on a whole new role and hours of who could eat what and how could I get dinner on the table for EVERYONE was a nightmare.
Corn, however, was a beast it’s in so many different ingredients of products we used.
POPCORN ALTERNATIVE: 2 Brilliant Corn-Free Options!
Popcorn Alternative: Alternatives To Popcorn Do Exist
Thinking back, one of the worst pieces of news I had to deliver was that popcorn was no longer an option.
Kids love popcorn and this was just gut-wrenching when I tried to explain it.
She thought the world had been ripped out from beneath her.
Oh, this was an emotional rollercoaster because taco shells were out, and now popcorn!
No, I was not going to let her be this upset over what could simply be modified.
It was time to find a popcorn alternative.
Let me be the first to tell you alternatives to popcorn do exist.
Popcorn Alternative for Those With Corn Allergies
I am hoping that each of these products helps you replace what you are currently not able to eat.
While they may not taste exactly like popcorn, the upside is, if corn made you sick this won’t!
Don’t miss out on popcorn-less popcorn anymore because you have alternatives to popcorn now!
Ready to get poppin’ excited?
Use my Storefront link to see all the products together if you prefer.
So read here and then go shopping!
Additionally, I will provide tips on storage, cooking and tell you what products we prefer after personally using!
Not one bit of this post is sponsored, this is all me, sharing what I know.
Talk the talk and walk the walk!
Alternatives To Popcorn Exist!
Admittedly, it is not easy to find a popcorn alternative.
Additionally, those brands that do exist make it cost-prohibitive to purchase, unlike popcorn that is quite inexpensive.
Sourcing out new products and creating delicious eats for my daughter is what I had to do.
But there is an alternative to popcorn!
Gluten sensitivity is not an easy food allergy to deal with, and on so many levels it is emotional as well as physical.
I put on the boxing gloves to kick corn out of my daughter’s life, and it takes some doing, but research is what helps.
Just as my son with severe food allergies needs to be accommodated with foods, my daughter does as well.
This momma is hot on the trail of some pretty cool stuff.
Where to Find a Popcorn Alternative: 2 Brilliant Corn-Free Options
Popcorn alternative, alternatives (yes plural), or alternatives to popcorn, all resonate well in my ears!
Now, where do you find them?
Amazon has great popcorn alternatives as do Walmart and Whole Foods!
You would think you might be able to walk into a grocery store and find a section marked Corn-Free but that is not the situation.
Frustration led me to resourcefulness and at a recent foodie conference, I met with a few brands.
By far and wide, Amazon is the best, but Walmart is definitely 2nd.
What I will say is sometimes the pricing on these products is really unattractive.
Again, props to Walmart on this aspect as well.
Don’t roll your eyes, really it’s a great place for the unexpected!
Some of my best allergen-friendly finds have been sourced there and at very favorable prices.
Hot Alternative To Popcorn Buying Tip!
When I find a product we can use, I hone in on who else has it and monitor the prices.
It’s that simple.
Then, buy it and store it properly.
Popcorn Alternative No. 1 > Amaranth
The Corn-Free Party with an alternative to popcorn is about to begin, pop, pop!
Amaranth can be used to pop.
However, you have to find a reliable brand.
I still struggle with this.
Basically, the breakdown ratio of Amaranth seed/kernel to popping is a 1:2 ratio.
Meaning that for every raw tablespoon you pop you will yield 2 tablespoons of popped.
However, that is if they ALL pop, which rarely happens, no matter who you are cooking it: pro, home-chef, etc.
Therefore it takes it back to a 1:1 Ratio/ tablespoon. Truth!
How To Store The Alternative To Popcorn Amaranth
We once knew a lady that got weevils in her pantry in everything.
So, with that in mind, find a cool, dark space and keep this either zipped up tight in a bag or a jar with an airtight lid.
Don’t refrigerate or freeze Amaranth!
Have you heard of Amaranth?
Nor had I, except for a magazine article at our Dr’s. office.
Read it, and never finished investigating Amaranth until my hand was forced.
Amaranth is able to be put on a stove and it should pop.
I will not lay claims about the brand, but you can find one that will pop and may prefer.
Personally, when there are little pieces left, I don’t sift through and re-pop, that’s too ridiculous.
Instead, I shake the bowl and let them just fall to the bottom.
Amaranth Is a Popcorn Alternative but…
You can season it, and it looks like small kernels of popcorn.
It is very good once you get the cooking method right and add the seasoning you want.
Did you know that Amaranth is readily available at almost all major grocery and health food stores?
But it is NOT popcorn and you may not be happy with it if you are just so upset with the allergy.
Truthfully, Amaranth does not pop NEARLY as big as regular popcorn.
However, it sure does give the flavor that is reminiscent of popcorn which truly satisfies the pang for popcorn.
Popping Amaranth The Real Truth about Popping With Irritation
At first, I struggled with popping Amaranth, it is a temperamental beastie.
You have to really work with it to understand.
I will offer this advice as well, find a nonstick pan with a clear, glass lid.
Believe me, popcorn alternatives are not so easy unless you try to work with them a few times.
Being truthful with you is the best way to set your expectations.
After all, it’s not gonna be a silver spoon attempt on try number one.
You’ll Get The Hang of Making This Popcorn Alternative
When at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, which is what I had to do to get this all right!
You will have to as well!
I dedicate one pan to this because it consistently creates beautifully popped Amaranth.
The pan you use and the heat you use are going to need to be consistent and in the end, will be the reason you either succeed or fail.
If I sound nuts, try popping it.
Chances are you will burn it and scar a pan on more than one occasion.
Make sure to have a filter for your mouth, because you will cuss that pan out and the Amaranth (yes I did!)
The pan/pot you use needs to either be nonstick or stainless steel with a clean bottom.
This will allow your Amaranth to scatter and slide about the bottom without issue.
You are not USING cooking oil.
A pan/pot with a clear glass lid.
Clear will allow you to see the process!
Pancake Preparation ~ Vs. Popcorn Alternative Amaranth Prep
Comparatively speaking, when cooking pancakes your first pancake in a pan fails unless of course, you do the water spatter test.
Truly you will learn that you have to do the same with Amaranth kernels.
A few will be sacrificed to create the many in an appropriately heated pan.
Unlike popcorn and oil in a pot, these little beasties need to have a pan of proper temperature.
Rather than go on and on check out the articles below to help you.
You can use this article if you like to learn more about How to Puff Amaranth.
Try and try again, because once you figure it out, you will be pro and it is yummy and corn-free!
Amaranth as an Alternative To Popcorn Overall
The issue with Amaranth is finding a brand you love.
I just find it to be tedious if we are being honest to pop and finding a reliable brand without grit, basically impossible.
Also, consistency in any brands we have tried is just not there.
So rather than crave an alternative to popcorn, buy pre-popped!
Buy Amaranth, a Popcorn Alternative Pre-Popped!
The Kuali brand of Amaranth comes popped and ready to eat, it’s just a question of do you want manufactured food or made fresh?
Buy Amaranth popped, you’ll thank me later!
No learning curve, just a ‘finding curve’.
Need More Corn Free Alternatives to Popcorn?
It’s not just Amaranth that is corn-free and popcorn-like.
In fact, I have another substitute for you, and this one is just as good.
It is all in YOUR Preference.
As I mentioned there are ALTERNATIVES to popcorn, not just ONE!
You’ll narrow down which is the popcorn alternative you prefer to use when you taste them!
Sorghum Another Alternative to Popcorn
It pops up nicely, but remember these are going to be 1/2 the size of popcorn.
Again, my best friend is Amazon when seeking these foods.
I simply, click and order.
However, as I said, I have been finding it in many different places.
Pay Attention To Popcorn Alternative Allergy Declarations
It is easy to make, delicious to eat, and it is corn-free.
Goodbye popcorn and hello New Alternative to Popcorn!
Learn how to pop this Sorghum here!
POP Sorghum Yourself A Go-To Alternative to Popcorn
Bob’s Red Mill products are pretty much my go-to when it comes to cooking and I trust the brand.
So, with that said, I will share how I cook Sorghum.
It was reaffirming to see I was doing it right when I saw how they are cooking it too!
At current, this is the brand we are using and I will not waiver.
Bob’s Red Mill products are consistent and priced fair as far as all these foods go.
Also, it is easiest to find compared to other brands.
Popcorn Alternative Sorghum Cooking Method: Microwave
Do you know how your microwave cooks?
You’ll soon find out when you prep Sorghum.
Take 1/4 C of Sorghum and a paper lunch bag that folds down.
You will add the sorghum to the bag and lay it flat, after folding the top over 2x.
Know ahead, if it’s your first time, expect mistakes.
This way you won’t be upset and you will stride on!
You’ll Burn and Churn this Popcorn Alternative and Then…..
It will all come together I promise!
Trust me, you won’t be the first to burn a batch, nor the last!
I cook mine on Power level 8 for about 2 M and 45’s, which seems to be the sweet spot.
Only use brown bags from the grocery store and never the dollar store (long story!)
These smaller brown party bags are perfect for this and we just ordered some online.
Of course, standard paper lunch bags are fine as well.
You just need to be able to fold the bag, so those handled brown bags are not an option.
Stovetop & Sorghum – A Popcorn Alternative
Cooking this on your stove again to me is a license to drink.
Honestly, it is temperamental and I don’t like doing it.
With measured success in the microwave that’s how I roll!
Use a pot with a glass lid that fits it well.
Prepare up to up to 1/4 C of this alternative to popcorn.
Next, preheat the pot/pan to medium heat.
You want a dry pan/pot bottom.
Make sure it is either nonstick or stainless steel so that you can scatter and shake those little sorghum pieces while they are popping.
It’s all gonna happen fast, so don’t walk away.
Shake. Watch. Shake. Repeat.
When you get about 10 seconds between pops, turn off the heat, remove from stove, shake and place into a bowl.
You can top it as you like. With spices, salts, or light mists of butter.
Alternative To Popcorn: Storage Suggestion: Sorghum
I have successfully found Sorghum in grocery stores, as well as Walmart and online.
I just grab it when I see it.
Might as well right?
We use enough of it, so I don’t want to run out.
I store it in a zippered freezer bag.
Once you look for this, as with all the other Bob’s Red Mill and other brands, you will note the price is not pennies on the dollar, so storage matters.
Grab some freezer bags or a container like this for storage where you might now expect.
You can store it in the freezer or in the refrigerator.
If we are in a ‘movie season like the winter months, we keep it in the fridge, it’s just easier to grab.
Pro-Tip For The Sorghum Foodies.
First, Bob’s Red Mill products do go on sale, so look for those sales and stock up!
Next, I have a thing about portions and my freezer.
Buy those food portion bags and put your pre-measured Sorghum in there.
Then put those small bags in a big one so they don’t get lost in the freezer or in a little plastic unit like this.
When you are ready to use it, pull it out and
Go! Super easy and totally ready for those last-minute cravings right?
What Not To Use To Pop This
For those of you considering an air popper to accomplish the task of cooking, don’t!
Don’t use an air popper for sorghum or amaranth, it will not work. (guess how we found out? )
Another Sorghum Already Popped
Mini Pops is another excellent sorghum source.
We have eaten this, and we like it a lot.
The quality is excellent, and it has a wonderful flavor.
Does this take the work out of making it?
Absolutely, but then again, it’s now pre-made, pre-packaged, so that is truly a personal choice!
That said, read on!
Since it is already popped it makes consumption easier, but it takes away from the fresh taste of creating your own.
If you don’t want the heartache of a scorched pan or don’t feel like watching a pan heat, then, this is for you!
Popcorn alternative for those with corn allergies – but they may not taste like popcorn!
As a mom, I am willing to try anything that makes sense but I also bear in mind that my 14-year-old is not as willing to try new things!
In order for her to try it, it has to look as good as I say it tastes.
You know teens–“prove it to me before I try it” I did prove it to her and she is so happy that we have introduced this to her diet as an alternative.
I have found that although amaranth and sorghum do not taste exactly like popcorn.
However, they are a wonderful popcorn alternative for those who cannot have corn.
I am excited that I was able to find these.
Between my son and my daughter, I keep on looking for the next best thing and I truly hope this helps you.
I will continue to look for and bring you other alternatives for food allergies in the future!
Lavishly live healthy eating out loud, with popcorn alternatives for those with corn allergies. ~ Dana XO