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Popped sorghum is a delightful corn-free alternative to popcorn. This recipe makes a tiny, airy and light popped snack using your microwave or on the stove.
If you love popcorn, you’re in for a treat with this popped sorghum recipe. It’s just as addicting and snackable as homemade popcorn, but cute, tiny, and even sweeter tasting.
Plus, you can dress this gluten-free and vegan snack up with any of your favorite flavorings. So go ahead and make a big batch for your next movie night! This healthy snack does not disappoint.
What is Sorghum?
Sorghum is a type of grain that grows here in the United States, though it’s native to Africa, India and Southeast Asia. It’s an environmentally friendly crop because it requires fewer resources than corn, wheat and other grains.
You can use sorghum as a grain, like flour and corn. And it can also be made into a sweet syrup similar to molasses. Sorghum syrup is an especially popular sweetener in Southern cooking.
You can find sorghum in natural food stores and online. It comes in several different colors, including white, brown, and black. Generally, the darker-colored grains are higher in nutrients, including antioxidants.
I like sorghum because it’s a great corn alternative to anyone with a sensitivity to corn. It pops just like corn kernels in the microwave or on the stove.
Is Sorghum Gluten-Free?
Yes, sorghum is naturally gluten-free!
Nutrition of Sorghum
Sorghum is naturally high in iron, dietary fiber and protein.
A half-cup portion of uncooked sorghum grains contains:
- 10 grams of plant-based protein
- 6 grams of fiber
- 26% of your daily recommended value of vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- 37% of your daily recommended value of magnesium
- 14% of your daily recommended value of zinc
At this point, it’s pretty clear that this is a nutrient-rich plant! So how can you eat more sorghum? One of my favorite ways is to pop it for a crunchy snack.
How to Make Popped Sorghum
You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients (aside from sorghum grains) to make this snack. There are two ways to pop your sorghum: on the stove or in the microwave. Here’s what you need to know about each method.
Popping Sorghum on the Stove
To make popped sorghum on the stove, you’ll want a large, deep pot. You should expect the grains to jump quite a bit, so to keep things clean, choose a pan with taller sides.
To prevent burning, you’ll also want to use a drizzle of neutral oil in the pot. This is optional, however. If you skip the oil, be sure to keep a close eye on your sorghum in the pot and keep things moving and shaking. Pop the sorghum over medium-low heat until the popping sounds die down. Then transfer the snack to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and any seasonings you like, and dig in!
Making Microwave Popped Sorgum
The other way to pop sorghum is right in the microwave. This method is even easier than on the stove. Simply dump your raw sorghum grains in a sealable silicone bag, seal it up and stick it in the microwave for a few minutes.
TIP: If you don’t have a silicone bag, you can simply use a brown paper bag. Just be sure you secure it closed with a microwave-safe clip or masking tape.
Seasoning Popped Sorghum
Once your grains are done popping, you can flavor them however you like. Here are some of my favorite ways to dress up popped sorghum:
- Nutritional yeast
- Vegan parmesan
- Dried herbs (basil, oregano, chives, etc.)
- Garlic or onion powder
- Chili powder
- Date caramel
- Chocolate sauce
- Curry powder
The possibilities are pretty endless, so have fun experimenting with anything you have on hand!
More Gluten-Free Snack Ideas
- Healthy Makhana / Lily Seed Snack (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, oil free)
- Low Waste Microwave Popcorn (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
- Candied Korean Sweet Potato: Goguma Mattang (고구마 맛탕)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Chia Pudding (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free)
How to Make Easy Popped Sorghum 2 Ways
- 2 tbsp sorghum more as desired
- reusable silicone bag or paper bag
- neutral oil as needed
- salt to taste
- seasonings of choice
- Microwave method
- Add sorghum to a reusable silicone bag or paper sandwich bag with the top folded down a few times until secure. If desired, add a touch of neutral oil and shake to coat.
- Microwave for 2-3 minutes on reduced wattage (I did about 50%, as the kernels are smaller and more prone to burning), time will vary by microwave. Listen for popping and once the popping starts to slow, stop the microwave.
- Add seasoning to the bag and shake to coat. Enjoy!
- Stovetop method
- Add neutral oil to cover the bottom of a deep pot (if desired) with a lid and add a single sorghum grain to the pot. Heat on medium and once you hear a pop, add the remaining grains.
- Cover and shake every 30 seconds or so. Once you hear popping, listen for it to slow down and then remove from heat. Let popping trail off, add seasonings of choice and enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.