is amaranth edible
Smooth Amaranth flower Smooth Amaranth, green form. The greenish stems tend to turn red as they mature, and although most species of pigweed grow upright, prostrate pigweed (Amaranthus blitoides and Amaranthus blitoides) grows along the ground. Note that some species of amaranth leaves, particularly purple amaranth, are … The edible leaves are known as Chinese spinach. Andrey Zharkikh / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0. Germination generally takes 7 to 14 days. I’m interested in knowing how to feed ourselves and our chickens in case of disaster. 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. Fresh or dried pigweed leaves can be used to make tea. We only link books and other products that we think would be useful to our readers. It was a main staple of the Aztecs and was cultivated by them as long as 8,000 years ago. Very rich soils are not necessary for amaranth, and may even hinder flowering and seed production. The entire plant is used to make medicine. First, remember that amaranth produces edible leaves, similar in taste to spinach. The study also found that tocotrienols may be protective against cancer and have anti-inflammatory qualities. Tocotrienols are a form of vitamin E that may reduce cholesterol as well as your risk of heart disease, according to a study published in the 2014 addition of the journal Nutrition & Metabolism. For those with celiac disease, milled amaranth is a gluten-free flour substitute. Great article! Looks like its Latin name is Amaranthus tuberculatus. Far from it, the amaranth is a nutritious plant with many health benefits. amaranth is an entire group of plants. The seeds are extremely nutritious and protein-packed with a slightly nutty flavor. Amaranths don't require any feeding. Amaranth is enjoyed by birds, insects, and also makes a great cut flower. Historically, the use of amaranth as an ornamental plant is a relatively recent development. The botanical genus name, Amaranthus , (am-a-RANTH-us) comes from the Greek word “amarandos, (Αμάραντος) which means non-fading, since its flowers last a long time. You can consume them raw, stir-fried, or sauteed. There are around 60 species of amaranth — all have varying degrees of good-to-eatness. In other words, it’s the ideal plant for edible landscaping. Amaranth isn't fussy about soil types. This plant was widely used for food by Native Americans of the Southwest. Cultivated in Mexico thousands of years ago, both the leaves and seeds of amaranth are edible. Both the leaves and stems are edible. See the USDA's amaranth seed nutrition table for a full list of nutrients. Flowers vary interspecifically from the presence of 3 or 5 tepals and stamens, whereas a 7-porate pollen grain structure remains consistent across the family. Average outdoor temps need to reach about 55 degrees Fahrenheit before planting the seedlings outdoors. Growing Amaranth in Containers. While amaranth plants are tall, they aren’t necessarily wide or bushy. Amaranth does best in full sun in the northern part of its range, but in warm southern climates, it benefits from some shade in the afternoon. If you find lambsquarters, you're likely to find amaranth growing nearby, as they're similar plants and do well in similar conditions. Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, Herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist with decades of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. I love "weeds" that can go straight into the harvest basket with the rest of the food crops! The closer you can get them, the better they look once fully grown. Today, flour and grain products are available on grocery shelves in the U.S. with recipes of all kinds on the internet. You’ll want to cultivate larger plants specifically grown for their seeds if you want the amaranth grain. I'm partial to its cousin, lambsquarters, but amaranth leaves are definitely worth foraging. Nearly all amaranths are edible, including love-lies-bleeding and even the common road-side weedy forms. Before they all turn brown, cut the flowers off and place them in bags, where they will dry. For one, any plant that survives the onslaught of toxic petro-pesticides will most likely harbor the toxic constituents of the pesticide and pass them on to whomever eats the plant. Many species are native to the southern U.S. and Mexico, so you can expect it to thrive even when late spring and summer is unusually warm. I’m gathering amaranth to collect seed to feed my chickens. Leaves can be harvested within a few weeks of outdoor planting. I frequently see it on the edges of fields and parks. Amaranth seed has more protein and fewer carbohydrates than both buckwheat and white rice, and its protein is supposedly more complete. Pigweed is one of the common names given to a clutch of Amaranth species that crash parties where they are not wanted. Palmer amaranth, aka Palmer pigweed (Amaranthus Palmeri), one of the better known species, has a reputation for being an invasive weed that plagues cotton and soybean fields in the South. Amaranth leaves and grains were one of the staple foods of Aztecs and Incas in pre-Columbian times. Amaranth is a hardy plant that thrives in tropical climates around the world. Of course the wickedly thorny variety is what usually volunteers in my beds. If you are eager for early harvest, you can start the seeds indoors as much as eight weeks earlier. 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. For one, any plant that survives the onslaught of toxic petro-pesticides will most likely harbor the toxic constituents of the pesticide and pass them on to whomever eats the plant.Amaranth also has a propensity to accumulate nitrates and oxalates, which can make it unpalatable and unsafe for eatin… North America is home to both native and introduced species of pigweed -- at least one species can be found throughout the entire continent. To harvest grains, let the plant go all the way to flower. 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.
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