No? Well, let us introduce you! And even if you’ve already met edible amaranth, you may learn something you didn’t know, so keep on reading.
We started researching edible amaranth plants when one of our customers requested a particular variety, Jamaican Callaloo. The search, and then the research began, the result being we discovered just how versatile and healthy edible amaranth can be.
One of the first things that clinched the decision to carry edible amaranth plants, besides a customer’s suggestion, was how easy they are to grow. Actually considered a weed in parts of the world, we found they are highly adaptable. Seeds will germinate in a warm, moist environment in as little as three days and then they grow really, really fast! You can start harvesting the tender leaves within 30 days of transplanting your edible amaranth plants. You simply cut them and new leaves quickly take their place. How easy is that? Edible amaranth plants are heat and drought-tolerant and incredibly disease-resistant. Even at the height of summer, you may only need to deep water them once or twice a week.
Throughout the world edible amaranth plants are used as salad greens, cooking greens, whole protein grain and flour (made from the seeds), popping grain (just like popcorn) and dye, in the case of the red varieties. We had to wonder why we had not heard of this wonderful plant before. Virtually every single part of the plant is edible, it is surprisingly nutritious and the seeds are gluten free! Sometimes called “Chinese Spinach”, the leaves are an exceptionally good source of vitamins A, K, B6 and C. You will also find high levels of calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and riboflavin. Edible amaranth has twice the amount of iron and four times the amount of calcium present in broccoli! Having a smoother, less bitter flavor than spinach, you can use it just as you would that popular green, also using edible amaranth in stir fry and other cuisine where you wouldn’t think of using spinach. In addition, you can grow edible amaranth plants anywhere. You don’t even have to have a vegetable garden! Edible amaranth plants are exceptionally ornamental and can be grown in the flower garden, the foliage, the blossoms and even the seed heads being wonderfully interesting and beautiful.
So, let us introduce you to just a few of our Edible Amaranth Plants.
Meet our All Red Leaf edible amaranth plant. This is the one most widely used for red dye, these rich and chocolaty-red leaves also widely used in stir-fry and soups and to add color and savory flavor to fresh salads. And talk about ornamental!
And here is our Red Stripe Leaf edible amaranth plant. Kind of looking like a cross between coleus and creeping Charlie, this shorter amaranth works well as a border plant, can be grown in the vegetable garden and is most popularly grown in containers where they look beautiful and are handy for harvesting.
And finally, meet our Jamaican Callaloo edible amaranth plant, the one that started it all! (Actually, a valued customer did, but….) An all green-leafed variety, this is the most commonly used edible amaranth around the world. Often eaten raw, Jamaican Callaloo is considered best when sautéed in virgin olive oil with onions, garlic, salt and pepper, just until soft and juicy. This low-growing edible amaranth can fill a hard to water, sunny location while providing incredible nutrition and flavor for your family.
Of course, there are other relatives, and you are welcome to browse through them here. It certainly never hurts to try something new; in fact, a widely read English poet, William Cowper, wrote: “Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor…” We have to agree!