Since amaranth is such a weedy, farmer-plaguing plant, be careful harvesting in areas that may have been sprayed with toxic chemicals — or that may have absorbed high levels of nitrates from fertilizer. Spiny amaranth has edible leaves and might be a medicine and sex aid. According to this study, amaranth seed's protein  is similar to animal protein. Be aware, though, that if the original plants were hybrids, the volunteer seedlings may not "come true" and may look different than the parent plant. It even has medicinal qualities. Ancient it is, though. If you are planting amaranth in containers, make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Amaranth can fall prey to many of the same pests and diseases that affect other vegetables. Amaranth grains are especially good in a porridge that also contains other grains, such as millet and quinoa. The seed, oil, and leaf are used as food. Smooth Amaranth flowers are short, petiole one half the lenght of the leaf to as long as the leaf. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. It is a traditional food of Native Americans including the … If you find lambsquarters, you're likely to find amaranth growing nearby, as they're similar plants and do well in similar conditions. With their plentiful seeds, amaranth plants will readily self-seed in the garden. There are some 60 amaranth species, maybe 70 (it depends on who’s counting.) Amaranth is enjoyed by birds, insects, and also makes a great cut flower. Cooked amaranth seeds are sort of nutty. The local amaranth seems to be a variety called “water hemp,” growing in wet areas. All amaranth foliage, which ranges from green to yellow, orange and red, like Hopi red dye amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus x A. powelli), is edible. The seed can only be eaten when it's cooked, as it inhibits nutrient absorption when consumed raw. Thanks for your support! Pigweed has a mild flavour and is often mixed with stronger flavoured leaves. Sushila Chaudhari , MSU Department of Horticulture’s new edible specialty crops weed scientist, will be investigating the distribution of this weed species in Michigan as well as the biology and control options available. Good to know by Jonathan. Don't overwater, or you run the risk of root rot or fungal diseases. Angela England is the author of "Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)," and edits the online publication Blissfully Domestic. Affiliate Disclaimer: In some cases, we use affiliate links, which means we get a small (tiny) commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link. Amaranth grows well in average soils and will grow adequately in poor soils. Photo by Ben Werling, MSU Extension. Store in clean jars or use right away. Only dense clay soils are likely to be completely unsuitable for amaranth. See the USDA's amaranth seed nutrition table for a full list of nutrients. Like so many fresh Asian greens, amaranth greens need no embellishment aside from a few cloves of crushed garlic. Native Americans used Amaranthus species as a food source for centuries. When planting outdoors, sow seeds about 4 inches apart, barely covering them with soil. Aphids and flea beetles are common; insecticidal soaps are a good remedy for the former, and floating row covers will protect the plants from the latter. I love "weeds" that can go straight into the harvest basket with the rest of the food crops! Maybe. Ancient super-food? Andrey Zharkikh / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0. Or rather, the pigweeds (there are different kinds) are amaranth species. The study also found that tocotrienols may be protective against cancer and have anti-inflammatory qualities. Amaranth is a herbaceous plant or shrub that is either annual or perennial across the genus. Awesome, I'm glad it was helpful! Not really. The leaves are used as a typical green would be. It seems to tolerate most soil types but it really thrives in the rich soil of a well-amended garden. I frequently see it on the edges of fields and parks. Like these weeds it readily grows in cultivated soil and will self-sow easily if allowed to go to seed. A proper history of amaranth would fill an entire book (or several). I’m interested in knowing how to feed ourselves and our chickens in case of disaster. What Parts Of The Amaranth Plant Are Edible? Before they all turn brown, cut the flowers off and place them in bags, where they will dry. The seeds are a grain that can be eaten. Maybe it's more of an acquired taste. The seeds are extremely nutritious and protein-packed with a slightly nutty flavor. Avoid using commercial pesticides with a "wait to pick" or any other type of warning regarding consumption. The flavor is sometimes described as earthy or grassy. In many parts of the world, in South America especially, Amaranth is deemed a traditional garden vegetable crop. edible amaranth is also known as pigweed. Amaranth's/pigweed's favorite stomping grounds are disturbed areas like fields, yards, and the edges of woods. When the seeds are dry and ready to separate, either thresh by rubbing the flower heads in your hands over a container, or by gently beating the bags of flower heads with a stick. Helpful article! To collect seeds to make flour simply lay the seed heads on a cloth and dry them in the sun for a couple of days. The younger the leaves and stems the better. You can harvest both leaves and grain from any amaranth, but if your goal is an edible plant, choose a variety based on your goals. The Amaranthus genus is a complicated one, featuring at least 75 annual and perennial species that easily cross-breed and hybridize. Here is a detailed look at amaranth and its health benefits. Amaranth is a hardy plant that thrives in tropical climates around the world. This helps to keep Wild Edible online. Amaranths don't require any feeding. Steam, stir-fry, saute, or mix with spaghetti sauce, rice, or meatloaf. Pigweed plants can grow to over six feet high with alternating oval to diamond-shaped leaves that may be up to six inches long. Harvesting Edible Amaranth . Amaranth seed or grain is also edible when toasted or milled into flour. Oil made from Amaranth plants can be used in food preparation, body lotions, soap, and related products. Edible Parts. Overview Information Amaranth is a plant. Amaranth is a broad-leafed, edible plant that some say may hold the answer to improving diet in the world's most obese country—Mexico. Rinse away the dried seed “chaff” and enjoy your grain harvest. Some varieties are marketed as best for seed production, while others are bred for attractive, tasty leaves that work well in salads. 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