yours truly standing in amaranth photo by vsimon
You have probably heard of amaranth seeds and flour as a healthy alternative to refined starches in the gluten free diet. But have you ever heard of amaranth greens?
A reader asked how to harvest amaranth seeds. I had no idea and took it as a suggestion to grow some in our garden. We ordered a mixed packet of seeds. This stuff is amazing. The tallest plants are now 8 feet tall, planted from seed just 10 weeks ago. The smallest are about 3 feet.
I am falling in love with the tasty versatility of this wonder plant.
It is too soon for seeds, though flowers are forming. In June, we enjoyed the young stalks with a distinct asparagus shape and flavor. The amaranth stalks are too woody to chew now in late July, even the small ones.
But the greens are delightful, a mild and mellow earthy greens flavor. And all of our amaranth have green leaves. I have seen pictures of red and green leaves that look like they are tie-dyed, ours are just plain green.
I leave the giant plants alone to produce seeds. And rummage through the patch for shorter stalks and smallish leaves.
They are sturdier than spinach and do not cook down quite as much. Still, two cups in the pan with yield only about 1/3 cup sautéed greens.
Amaranth is loaded with vitamin K. This is probably good for your bones.
But not so good for a consistent blood clotting time if you are on Coumadin. Unless you eat a cup of dark leafy greens every day.
Amaranth greens are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, calcium, potassium, and iron. In very few calories. And I could not find data on the fiber content, but I suspect the greens have some.
Asian amaranth photo by vsimon
Asian Amaranth Greens
Yield: one serving (My husband is not a greens kinda guy).
You can double the recipe, using a very large sauté pan.
|2 cups amaranth leaves||60 grams|
|1 teaspoon white rice vinegar||5 ml|
|1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce||5 ml|
|1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil||5 ml|
|1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds||less than 1 gram|
Put the leaves, white rice vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, and sesame oil in a sauté pan.
Cook on high heat for just a few minutes, turning frequently with tongs.
Top with sesame seeds.
I encourage you to plant amaranth next year, either in your vegetable or your flower garden. You may know some decorative kinds as Joseph’s Coat and Love Lies Bleeding. I don’t know if these are edible, but it might be fun to nibble on the flower garden. You could also to forage for wild amaranth, called pigweed.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a source for amaranth seeds to plant . Or you might try planting some seeds that you bought to eat. That would be the easiest way to get seeds for planting. Please let us know if to do this and how it worked.
This post will be submitted to the biweekly roundup of Grow Your Own, started by Andrea’s recipes blog. The end of July session is hosted by Amy I. of Playing House. If you grow your own, your latest creation is welcomed.