Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Amaranth: From the Farm to the Frying Pan

Amaranth plants just sproated everywhere right after a few days of heavy rain, coming from plants I uprooted a few months ago. The variety I'm using has reddish purple and green leaves. I've never tried eating these so I wanted to try it in its simplest form. I adapted a recipe for Sichuan Stir-Fried Amaranth Leaves with Garlic.

Amaranth has a very interesting history and has many food uses as the entire plant is edible, including the stalk. It also has an impressive amount of nutritional value.

Steamed Amaranth Leaves with Garlic
It taste amazingly like alugbati, a native edible vine, whose leaves are also of the same color as the amaranth. It has an intense smoky sweet spinach flavor and can therefore be substituted for any spinach dish.

300 g bunch of fresh amaranth leaves
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
salt to tast

Place leaves in a steamer for 2 minutes or until leaves wilt and shrink to about a fourth of its original quantity.

Heat butter, salt and garlic in a saucepan on low heat, just until garlic starts to sizzle and salt dissolves. Garlic should not change color.

You may either remove garlic from the oil or leave it in (I leave it in), then add the steamed amaranth.

*The cooked leaves contain about 8% protein, 4% carbohydrates and are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins B and C in higher concentrations that spinach. For example, only 47 g of cooked leaves contains 100% of the minimum daily requirement of Vitamin C.


Tanna said...

Sounds really interesting. I'd probably like it since I love spinach. Now I'll be watching for it.

Palema said...

Can you do something with amaranth seeds?

Janet Ann said...

I grow red and green edible amaranth (from Evergreen Seeds) indoors and pick the young leaves to eat raw in salad. Quite young they are just like lettuce and as they get a bit bigger the red starts tasting a bit like kale. I root new plants from cuttings to keep up with out demand, and do not let them go to seed, but yes the tiny seeds are edible.

studio4moms said...

I just harvested some of mine and cooked is with just olive oil and coconut oil. It was really delicious.They are so easy to grow and so pretty in the garden. The taste was very mild and the leaves were good size but still very tender. I will grow these as a regular from now on! Great with a dash of balsalmic vinegar. I'll try the garlic next time.

Anonymous said...

I just planted some of the purple and green leaf variety. I will certainly try your recipe and let you know how I like it?

Anonymous said...

Amaranthus hybridus grows rampant in my vegetable garden. It is delicious sauteed with garlic and soy sauce. I love it for breakfast as a green smoothie with plain yogurt, a banana, and one other fruit. MMMMMMMMM!

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to figure out what this plant is for so long. It loves to grow in my yard. Thanks for the recipes, they look great.