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The Better Buckeye

As demonstrated in the “Ancient Christmas” episode of Live It – December 2018

Watch the episode here.

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  • 7 large Medjool dates, pits removed
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup popped amaranth* (about 1 Tbsp unpopped)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • ½ tsp coconut oil


  1. To pop amaranth, you will need a large skillet with a glass lid. Heat the dry skillet over medium heat, allow to get good and hot before adding amaranth. Test to see if the skillet is hot enough by placing a very small amount of amaranth in the skillet; if it pops within a few seconds, the skillet is ready. Add 1 Tbsp amaranth, or just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Place the lid on the skillet and gently rock back and forth. The amaranth should start popping almost immediately and transform from yellow to white. Remove from the pan into a separate bowl as soon as most of the popping has stopped. Repeat the process until desired amount of amaranth is popped. A note from Andrea: Popped amaranth looks like miniature popcorn. I jokingly tell my kids it’s “fairy popcorn,” and in our Ancient Christmas episode, Santa and I called it “elf popcorn.” 
  2. Place dates and peanuts in the bowl of a food processor. Process until chopped into small pieces. 
  3. Add peanut butter and vanilla and continue to process until well combined and mixture begins to clump together.  
  4. Add popped amaranth and pulse a few more times to combine.
  5. Roll the mixture into 18 small balls and refrigerate until set.
  6. Melt coconut oil and chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip the bottom of each ball in the melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to harden on wax paper. Enjoy!
  7. *If popping amaranth doesn’t appeal to you or you can’t find it at the grocery store, try subbing toasted quick oats.


Note: Enjoy popped amaranth with your favorite popcorn spices – a spoon will be required! It is also delicious as a breakfast cereal with chopped nuts, fruit and milk. Try sprinkling it on your salads or adding it to baked goods. The possibilities are endless!

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 buckeye
Servings per recipe: 18

Calories 84

Total Fat 4.6g

    Saturated Fat 1.2g

    Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g

    Polyunsaturated Fat  1g

Cholesterol 0.6mg

Sodium 20mg

Total Carbohydrate 10.5g

Fiber 1.2g

Sugar 6.7g

Protein 2.2g

Live It is a cooking demonstration presented by the Nutrition Food Service and Wellness Departments at Parkview Health. Each episode is hosted by dietitian Andrea Miller, with a goal of showcasing nutrient-dense foods and teaching viewers doable ways to use them in order to promote wellness in our community.

For more recipes and to watch past episodes of Live It, visit is moving!

With our transition to Parkview Health, this website will soon redirect all visitors to There you will find the same resources and services you are used to, in addition to the full range of offerings from Parkview.