Common Name: Amaranth (Amaranthus)
Seed Saving Level: Advanced
Planting: Amaranth requires full sun. Plant seeds 7-10 inches apart and seedlings 10-12 inches apart.
Harvesting: Leaves can be harvested as greens in 15-30 days. Delicately flavored sprouts can be used as a garnish for your salads, and young leaves can be cooked like spinach.
Seed Saving: Determine if amaranth seeds are harvestable by gently rubbing the flower heads between your hands and seeing if seed heads easily fall off. Cut the seed heads before they become dry, lay on cloth or paper towel. Place them inside cloth or paper bags with the heads down and leave them in shaded area. To remove the seeds, simply rub the seed heads with your hands (gloves recommended).
Sources: www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/ guidetogrowingamaranth.html, www.localharvest.org/amaranth-herb-seeds-non-hybrid-non-gmo-C24898
Recipe: Power Porridge
1/2 cup water
2 cups almond milk or rice milk
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup amaranth
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 cup banana chips
1/4 cup raisons
1 tbsp flaxseed powder
2 tsp agave nectar
Amaranth and quinoa are both high in protein, contain more calcium than milk, and are great sources of dietary fiber and minerals. Considered sacred thousands of years ago by the Aztecs (amaranth) and Incas (quinoa), these grains were the center of ceremonial rituals before the Spanish colonizers forbade their cultivation. Over the last thirty years they have regained popularity as “super foods."
In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, combine the water almond milk, cinnamon stick, quinoa, amaranth, salt, and coconut oil. Bring to a boil, and quickly reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the banana chips, raisons, flaxseed powder, and agave nectar, and stir to incorporate. Add more almond milk to your desired creaminess. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, and serve. Serves 4-6.
Source: Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine (2009) by Byant Terry