Properties and Nutrition:
- high in iron, calcium, magnesium and other minerals
- high in plant protein; 15%-18% protein
- antioxidant rich
- contains both essential amino acids; lysine and methionine, when combined with wheat or rice it becomes a well absorbed, complete protein
- good source of vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 and folic acid
- contains cholesterol inhibitors
- strengthens the cardiovascular system, which helps in preventing heart attacks and stroke
- lowers cholesterol
- digestive support, also helps with upset stomach and diarrhea
- can be used to treat hemorrhaging from the bowels
- blood purifier
- used to normalize menstrual cycle
- aids in detoxing body systems
- supports cellular metabolism
- can prevent chronic degenerative diseases
- it's anti-inflammatory properties can help in treating joint inflammation
- bruised leaves can reduce tissue swelling sprains, injuries and bug bites
- the lunasin in amaranth is being studied for its ability to halt the growth of cancer cells
Methods of Use:
- tincture (seeds)
- tea (leaf, flower and seeds)
- salve (leaves)
- Poultice (sprains and insect bites)
- fresh leaves (when young and tender)
- blanched or steamed leaves (when more mature)
- flour (from ground seed)
- seeds (sprinkled into food)
In the Kitchen:
- Grind the seed into a flour and mix 25% of amaranth flour to 75% other flour, like rice or wheat or use as part of my multi-grain flour. Toasting the seeds before use enhances the flavor and makes them more digestible.
- Cook the seeds as a grain in your meals. 1 part seed to 2 1/2 parts water. Cook like rice, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Increase the water to 3 parts and the grain becomes more mushy and can be used as a breakfast cereal.
- Sprout the seeds for optimum nutrition
- Add seeds to soups, they will thicken and enrich your soup
- Use fresh, young, tender leaves in your salads, they have a spinach like flavor
- Once leaves are more mature, cook or steam to make the iron more absorb-able and reduce oxalic acid. They can be cooked like chard and collard greens.
In the Garden/Harvesting:
- Sprinkle seeds in a sunny spot, two weeks after the last frost and keep moist.
- Once sprouted, thin to about 1-3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Some can get up to 7 feet tall.
- Amaranth is pretty easy to grow, it is drought and heat resistant so water as needed.
- Harvest leaves anytime - fresh leaves for salads when young and tender, larger leaves steamed or cooked.
- Seeds are ready to harvest when the flower head is rubbed and seeds readily fall out. Cut flower heads and dry on screens. Once completely dry, put in a container or bag and shake vigorously or rub the heads.
- Leaves can be dried for future use in teas and salves.