Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cooking Amaranth Leaves

This is my first year attempting to grow amaranth.  My intention was to grow it for it's grain.  If you've never had amaranth grain, it's a very nutritious and high protein grain.  I mix it with my oatmeal along with apples and pecans for a delicious and filling breakfast.  I have also cooked with amaranth flour to make waffles and muffins.

When it came time to plant amaranth, I spaced them a foot apart so that they can grow tall, flower, and produce grains.  I had to thin the seedlings, which is when I learned you can also eat amaranth leaves.  My first thinning were young leaves, which added a colorful addition to my salads.

I wanted to know what cooked amaranth leaves tasted like, so I let some of the seedlings get about two feet tall and then picked some leaves.

As the leaves get larger they are a mix of green and red.  I heated up some oil, chopped the leaves, and minced some garlic.

I sauteed them for about five minutes and here is the finished product:

Well, I don't think any cooked greens are very photogenic.  What is important is how they taste.  To me they tasted like a mix between spinach and collard greens, but you know what I forgot to add... salt!  I don't add salt a lot when I cook, so I completely forgot, but salt seems to make a big difference in cooked greens.  Next time I will definitely add salt.  I would say amaranth leaves aren't as good as spinach, but much better than turnip greens.  The best part about amaranth is that they like the heat, so in the South it is a way I can have some greens long after the spinach and kale have said goodbye to the summer heat and humidity.

This post is shared at Green Thumb Thursday at Grow a Good Life.


  1. I've been hearing a lot about amaranth as a spinach substitute for the summer - It's great to hear what your first impressions were. I love spinach and I love collard greens, so this definitely sounds promising.

  2. I'm growing amaranth for the greens this year too. I've got some already ready to harvest, and I'm looking forward to trying it!

  3. I think it's a beautiful picture. I need to give it another try growing amaranth next year. I've seeded it twice and both times we ended up needing to do construction in that area, killing off the little seedlings. My husband doesn't appreciate my yelling out the window "Don't step there or there, I've got seeds there!" when he's trying to fix something. Thank you for sharing on Green Thumb Thursday. I hope we see you again today!