Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eating from the Garden - Red Amaranth


Amaranth – a new edible for me!

Last summer I got some Red Amaranth seeds from a friend. I just thought it would be fun to grow something I never had before. I grew them – they are such a deep red color and really tall– almost to my hip. The flower looks like a bunch of seeds, not petals like most flowers and that is what actually dries into the seeds. I collected the seeds and stored them.

This spring I came across those seeds and threw them (literally) into the garden bed. I just watered as usual and watched them mature.

Well I found out on Sunday from a few of my Master Gardener friends that the leaves are edible! They can be used like lettuce in a salad, in a frittata or stir fried with other veggies. They have a strong taste like a micro-green.

The seeds are also very nutritious. There’s a great article on how to grow, harvester and cook with Amaranth from Seeds of Change http://www.phoenixpermaculture.org/forum/topics/harvesting-amaranth-seeds

But here’s what the article says about the nutritional value: “Nutritionally, amaranth is a very valuable food–higher in protein than the major cereal crops (13 to 18 percent as compared to 10 percent in corn and wheat) with a high level of the amino acid lysine, an essential amino acid that is usually deficient in plant protein. Amaranth is also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins.”

I am excited to have another plant in my garden I can eat. I am going to start experimenting with everything in my garden. So many things that we consider ornamental or a flower are edible. I love foraging in my garden for food for my dinner. It is always an interesting mix of what is available.

What do you eat from your garden that is unusual?

Happy Digging,

Doreen aka The Garden Goddess
www.down2earthgardens.com

2 comments:

Bonnie said...

Doreen, thanks for the info on amaranth. I have some amaranth in the pantry. I think I will try 'throwing' it in the garden and see what happens. Also, what do you have on the ground by the amaranth plant? Looks like a grate of some sort.

Garden Goddess said...

Hi Bonnie - That is my Cat Deterent Device (CDD). It is an old shelf from a closet - reused as a CDD! Works GRATE! :)

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