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Popped Amaranth and Sesame Candies

Hands-on time 12 mins
Total time 54 mins

Serves 20 (serving size: 2 pieces)

This is a fun, ancient-grain spin on a traditional candy you see in Asian, Greek, and Middle Eastern cuisines. I’m basing this on a Korean version made with all sesame seeds, but here I’ve replaced half the seeds with Popped Amaranth. The texture is crunchy-chewy, and the flavor is absolute toasty goodness.


  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 1/3 cups Popped Amaranth
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 91
  • fat 3.2 g
  • satfat 0.5 g
  • monofat 1.2 g
  • polyfat 1.4 g
  • protein 1 g
  • carbohydrate 15 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • sugars 12 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 12 g
  • cholesterol 0 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 49 mg
  • calcium 17 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sesame seeds and Popped Amaranth; toss well to combine. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; press into an even layer. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Invert warm sesame mixture onto a large cutting board. Cut mixture into 4 (9 x 2 1/4–inch) strips; cut each strip into 10 pieces to yield 40 (2 1/4 x about 3/4–inch) pieces. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;