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The Joy of Amaranth: Alegrias {Recipe}

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The Joy of Amaranth: Alegrias recipe

Amaranth is a tiny-little seed full of protein.  It is mainly used as the base ingredient in the Mexican candy known as Alegrias or “joy.”  Alegrias are rich in fiber, protein, amino acids, calcium and iron.

And yes… they are also full of joy!  Children love to get their hands on this sticky-sweet dessert.  It is a healthy, energy-replenishing snack for kids that fit perfectly in their lunch box. It can also be used as a crunchy topping on their morning fruit and yogurt cup.

Alegrias are typically sold as street candy in the plazas of Mexico or border crossings because they make such great gifts.  They are simple to prepare and can be made with your favorite nut or dried fruit.  Some even include chocolate chips in the mixture.

*Cook’s note: If piloncillo is not available at your local grocery store, replace with 1 cup of honey.


3 cups amaranth, toasted
2 pounds *piloncillo, in large chunks
½ cup honey
2 cup of water
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw peanuts


In a large saucepan, heat water until simmer and add piloncillo, honey and lemon juice until it dissolves and becomes syrupy.

Add toasted amaranth in piloncillo syrup and stir gently with wooden spoon until evenly coated.

Press amaranth mixture onto a 9×13 greased baking dish.  Sprinkle peanuts and raisins on top and let cool.

Use serrated knife to cut into squares or use a biscuit cutter for circle shapes.

Makes 10-12

Amaranth Alegrias recipe

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