Does anyone grow edible amaranth? What does it taste like? Is it minty or some what like spinach? Do they grow well in hot weather? Do you eat as a salad green or potherb?
All the time, and I collect wild amaranth... it is not minty, it is tougher and more coarse than spinich. That does not lend it to salads. But cooked it is edible, rather nondescript in flavor. But it will grow in southern heat and that makes it a good green for the summer. It will also reseed itself.
I've heard it called Asian Mint but have never found it to resemble any "minty" flavor by western standards.
There are different varieties and colors, all of which grow well in hot weather. Colors include green, red and green, and red. They are all self seeding and some people consider them weeds the following year because they seed so well.
It is more delicate, more flavorful, and more nutritous than typical American spinach.
Here is a link that might be useful: Eight Varieties of Edible Amaranth
Thanks. That help me to get the picture and I think it's a keeper. I will saw some for summer eating.
Good luck kumquatlady. Keep us informed and let us know how it works out for you.
The red is very architectual and you can incorporate it into a perennial garden for contrast.
I just found out about this while browsing the Evergreen site this morning (can you tell I don't know much) and was interested in growing the red/green one for eating as well...
Kumquatlady, if you see this, let us know how your crop did!
I cook these by first heating some canola or corn oil, add garlic, stir fry until the oil and garlic coats the veges, then cover the pan, ( add a little hot water if it is dry), and lower (3 or 4) the heat to let it steam for a bit. Then add a dash of soy. I have yet to serve it to someone who doesn't like it.
I will grow 'calaloo' this year which is a Caribbean version of amaranth, supposed to be green and used in stews. I didn't know the wild version was edible though as I think about it, since the others are, the wild should be too. It always seemed too 'weedy' and I pulled muscles in my back once trying to pull some big ones. I guess that's why they call it 'pig weed'
I grow it to pick the young leaves for salad. When they are small it tastes like lettuce and depending on the variety takes on another flavor as it gets bigger. The Asia Red tastes more like a mild kale when the leaves get to a 3 to 4 inch size. The one Evergreen Seeds calls "Tender Green" Edible Amaranth is milder and indeed very tender and makes a wonderful salad green. I have never cooked it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Ann 's Air Gardens (Salad Bar)
I just started growing it this year. I want to use the grain and the greens as a hot weather green alternative. Grew the hopi red dye amaranth but that was not enough, so I also planted some green amaranth just from amaranth grain from my pantry. I am using it as companion planting for corn and it is looking good. I tried some leaves raw and did not much care for them. I thinned some of the plants and used the greens (of the green plants) as spinach. That was VERY good just simply sauteed. Similar to spinach but with even better taste in my opinion. I still have not tasted the red version. Can't wait to see the whole plant development and get the grains too!
I just ate my first amaranth greens and I loved them. Like a milder form of spinach. We picked them at about 15 cm high.
Last year I grew the R158 strain intending to use the grain. I never got around to it and they self-seeded giving me a big crop of amaranth to use as greens. They grow in poor soil.
Since I like them so much I will let some mature again this year.
The plant on it's own is just gorgeous. It is a deep burgundy. They stayed up staright for most of the season and didn't fall over until quite late.
I actually scrounged around in the garage and found some more seeds to plant that were in an area that I haven't swept out yet!
I love Amaranth seeds the I buy and am having a difficult time finding out which plant species produces the yellow edible seeds, not the black seeds, so that I can try to grow it.
Amaranth is widely available in Indian grocery stores in my area (CA bay area). It is called "mulai keerai" or simply " keerai"The traditional way to cook it is to make kootu which kind of a wet curry that can be eaten with rice or flat breads like chapathi.
Spinach /amaranth Greens - 1 bunch
Lentils toor dal or Mung Dal - 1 cup cooked till soft with enough water to get oatmeal like consistency
For curry paste:
Fresh /frozenGrated Coconut - 1 cup
Dry Red Chilli -1- 3 nos (As per your taste)
Urad dal - 2 tbsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tspn
Oil - 1 tspn
Mustard - 1/4 tspn
Urad Dal - 1/2 tspn
Dry Red chilli - 1no
Wash and chop spinach/amaranth into small pieces.
Cook toor or mung dal soft with water.
Cook spinach in a vessel with salt and turmeric.
Make curry paste as follows:
Roast the red chilli, the urad dal in 1/2 tsp of oil until urad is pale golden brown. Grind with Grated coconut, and cumin to a fine paste.
Once spinach/ amaranth is well cooked(You will know by the bright green color) add grounded mixture and dal. Add salt as required.
Mix well and until it boils. If its too thick add little water while boiling.
Can also add 1/2 tspn of coconut oil.
Now season with above ingredients in a hot pan and add to the Keerai Kootu.
This is a good sidedish for Chapathis or also with plain rice.
How do cook, serve the seeds? I've had a container of seeds in my pantry for ages, just don't know how to serve it.
I'm also planning to use some of that container to grow next year, the seeds are so darn expensive. Found the red amaranth is one of the few things to grow in the summer around here.
You cook them like rice.
i know I am responding to an old post but looks like members are keeping it alive :-)
In south india, we eat this leafy vegetable a lot and i have successfully grown amaranth in the US for the last 2 years. Leaves are beautiful with deep burgundy hue and grow till mid summer when the heat starts to make them bolt.
I planted amaranth as a trap crop since I dont like to eat it .By planting them near water spinach , Insects will eat the amaranth but not the water spinach.I discover that 5 years ago ,by august my water spinach was full of holes but then when I planted the amaranth near it , it's the amaranth that has holes but not the water spinach.