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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  Amaranth questions-have you ever grown it?
Posted by: dawgmama, Friday, April 20, 2007, 2:03am
I just bought some bulk amaranth seeds at the HFS. I had no idea how to cook it, so I did a search on the CR4YT board and will be making Cocky"s recipe tonight. It sounds yummy!

I also Googled Amaranth and learned some interesting tidbits about it. It sounds like an easy plant to grow, and you can eat the leaves, and it gets pretty, red clover-like flowers . I guess there are about 60 species of Amaranth, but none is specific for just the seed or leaves, kind of all purpose.

Do you think I could plant some of the seed I just bought to eat? Or do you think it was "heat treated" to make it food worthy? It is organic. I understand that the plants can grow 5-7 feet tall, I have a patch in the back of my yard that could use some tall color. I was just curious if anyone had ever grown it. I will be searching the seed catalogs for it too.

Also it said that amaranth can be popped like popcorn. :) Does anyone have experience with that? I guess in Mexico it is popped, then mixed with a sugar solution and called ''alegria''. Lola, have you had this?

I will have to experiment with this seed!
Posted by: marianne, Friday, April 20, 2007, 2:40am; Reply: 1
My Mom used to grow amaranth...and, of course, feed the cooked greens to us, too :-)

I've bought bags of plain puffed amaranth in Ciudad Juarez to eat as breakfast cereal, but it is more often available stuck together with a sweet syrup in bars (think Rice Crispy Treats) then adorned with a whole almond.

I imagine that you could try sprouting some in a jar in your kitchen to see if it would germinate before planting it.  Let us know how it comes along.
Posted by: Lola, Friday, April 20, 2007, 3:05am; Reply: 2
yes there s a lot of that available here.

I am still not sure what type of sugar is used so I do not buy alegrias.
but I ve done some bars using honey and ghee, for the kids.
Posted by: marianne, Friday, April 20, 2007, 3:32am; Reply: 3
I'm pretty sure of exactly which type of sugar that is used... "glucosa" (Spanish for corn syrup, no?)

The Mexican sodas Barrilitos, (I'm not drinking them, DH does) now skirt the whole issue by generically listing in their ingredient list: "sweetners"  like that's supposed to help make a good decision! sigh  Well, I suppose its better in this case to follow the "When in doubt, don't!" line of thought.
Posted by: Lola, Friday, April 20, 2007, 3:35am; Reply: 4
you bet!
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 20, 2007, 4:16am; Reply: 5
Quoted from dawgmama
Do you think I could plant some of the seed I just bought to eat? Or do you think it was "heat treated" to make it food worthy? It is organic. I understand that the plants can grow 5-7 feet tall, I have a patch in the back of my yard that could use some tall color. I was just curious if anyone had ever grown it. I will be searching the seed catalogs for it too.


We grew amaranth one year...  What we grew looked like a large broad leaf weed between 5 - 7 feet tall.  We ate some of the greens raw in salads and cooked as a spinach replacement.  About half of the plants were allowed to "bloom" and produce seed heads.  The main heads were large (up to a foot tall and about 10 in diameter).  The seeds were embedded in some rough plant material that required crushing and breaking up to release the seed, then lots of "cleaning"...  I found that screening seemed to be the best way to clean the chaff out of the seeds, if you could find the right size screen.

I don't remember if mom ever used the amaranth seeds or grain in cooking...  
Posted by: Schluggell, Friday, April 20, 2007, 7:54am; Reply: 6
Amaranth, Kiwicha, Amarant {Amaranthus sp. - Amaranthaceae}

It will reseed itself - There are many species used around the world.

You'll need to plant a sprinkling of store-bought though, as grains too hulled won't sprout, bit it is vigorous.

There is an ornamental {edible} variety called "Love Lies Bleeding" (A. caudatus).
Posted by: Mitchie, Friday, April 20, 2007, 9:37am; Reply: 7
Dawgmama - I've grown the ornamental variety quite a few times in large flower pots.  Mine got about 3-4 feet tall with multi-colored green, red, white and yellow patterned leaves.  It did get seed heads but at that time I had no idea they were edible.  The birds certainly enjoyed them though.

If you try popping it, please let us know how that works for you.  Popcorn is one of my favorite treats.  I'm currently making it cooked in olive oil then drizzled with ghee, some sea salt and then shaking a packet of stevia over it.  Turns it into a kettle corn thing and it's quite tasty.  

I'm interested in your amaranth results, so please keep us posted.

Posted by: Drea, Friday, April 20, 2007, 1:27pm; Reply: 8
Quoted from Schluggell
There is an ornamental {edible} variety called "Love Lies Bleeding" (A. caudatus).


I bought some of these seeds to plant (when I lived in CA) because the picture and the name are so descriptive. The seeds didn't even sprout for me  :(.  I wasn't aware that it was amaranth; I may have tried harder.
Posted by: dawgmama, Friday, April 20, 2007, 1:51pm; Reply: 9
Thanks for all of the replies.  

Schluggell, I think you are correct, the grain type is probably too "hulled" to sprout. I am going to the farm store today and I will look for the "Love Lies Bleeding" type. I saw it during my research, and it was a pretty plant. Also Mitchie grew it "quite a few times", so it must be nice  :). I have a split rail fence that it would really look pretty by! I spend so much $ on bird seed, that I wouldn't mind sharing with the birds! AND the RED color might attract some hummingbirds!  :K)(my goal every year!)

My attempts so far at popping amaranth have been pathetic! :B First I tried in a bit of melted ghee, a few "kernals" popped, but the rest scorched. Then I researched some more, and one post said to just use a dry pan, that scorched too! However, I am just recovering from a bad chest cold that my darling son passed along to me(the first in 4 years though!), so I was tired and just not "with it". I will try again perhaps with a different pan, and lower heat.  The co-op where I bought it is pretty busy, so I don't think it was old, but maybe it was too dry with no moisture to make it "pop"? ??) So, maybe I will buy some more at my usual HFS.

Lola, when you say you've "done some bars using honey and ghee for the kids", did you make them or purchase them?

I like knowing that I am a nonnie now, because it has caused me to recheck the Typebase, and try new things! Always "growing" and evolving with this lifestyle. (or should that be "shrinking"?) :D
Posted by: lstreat, Friday, April 20, 2007, 2:10pm; Reply: 10
I found this info on wiki quite interesting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth

The amaranth leaf is also called Callaloo (famous Carribean dish) and Chinese Spinach in the tropics. Both of which I think I can find here and will go hunting on the Danforth this weekend for them.  I have the flour at home but have never cooked with it yet but I can't find the seeds anywhere. As stated on wiki the seeds are also a complete protein.  ;)

Laura
Posted by: Schluggell, Friday, April 20, 2007, 2:33pm; Reply: 11
Quoted from Mitchie
...If you try popping it, please let us know how that works for you.  Popcorn is one of my favorite treats. ..


Fire Hazard in an Electric Air Popper...the seeds are soo small they get sucked into the motor...believe me I've done it.  ::) ;)

No permanent damage - but pretty exciting to see the Tower of Flame.
Posted by: dawgmama, Friday, April 20, 2007, 5:13pm; Reply: 12
LOL Schluggell!!  :D You remind me of my son Eric.  Tower of Flame!! :o What a visual!! Chuckle, chuckle!!!! ;D
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 20, 2007, 10:21pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from Schluggell


Fire Hazard in an Electric Air Popper...the seeds are soo small they get sucked into the motor...believe me I've done it.  ::) ;)

No permanent damage - but pretty exciting to see the Tower of Flame.

You need a smaller screen at the bottom of the electric popper to try this...  Are the grains heavy enough to keep from being blown out of the popper before being popped, or were you so impressed by the Tower of Flame that you didn't care? ;D

Posted by: Lola, Friday, April 20, 2007, 11:12pm; Reply: 14
here s a recipe someone posted.....you can add toasted amaranth seeds instead.....
or just simply omit the marshmallow
heating up only the sweetener and ghee
Quoted Text
Homemade Marshmallows
2 T unflavored gelatin
3/4 c cold water
2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. boiling water
1 T vanilla

Soften gelatin in cold water 5 minutes, then dissolve by stirring over hot water.
Combine sugar, salt and boiling water in 2-qt heavy saucepan; cook, stirring until sugar dissolves, to the soft crack stage (280 degrees).
Pour into mixing bowl along with the gelatin mixture and beat at low speed for 3 minutes; continue beating at medium speed for 10 minutes or until mixture is fluffy and creamy7.  Add vanilla and pour into an 8 inch square pan.
Cool 1/2 hour or until set, then cut in 36 squares with knife moistened in water.  Roll in nuts if desired.
Place in airtight container and put in refrigerator, freezer or other ocld place until ready to use.  Makes about 1 pound.

When I make crispy rice bars, I just take the hot mixture, mix in a little melted butter (you
could mix in melted ghee or nothing at all and it would work OK).  Then I mix in some Organic
Erewhon Gluten Free Crispy Brown Rice Whole Grain Cereal.
Posted by: dawgmama, Saturday, April 21, 2007, 11:30am; Reply: 15
Thanks Lola! :) I am a marshmallow lover! I guess they bring back memories of family campouts, and carefree summer days! I don't even have to EAT them, I just love the smell of a toasted marshmallow! The fact that the real ones are pure corn syrup, and now avoids, will probably have me smelling more than I eat! Sniffffff....ahhhhh..... :D

Maybe some amaranth crispies in my future! Although geletin is probably an avoid too. :-/ I'll check!
Posted by: dawgmama, Saturday, April 21, 2007, 11:33am; Reply: 16
Yep- gelatin- avoid for all but the O's!  

Oh well! :-/

I guess I'll make amaranth crispies for my O's! :)
Posted by: Lola, Saturday, April 21, 2007, 3:45pm; Reply: 17
agar might be a substitute and other vegetable gelatine http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?18
Posted by: Alia Vo, Saturday, April 21, 2007, 11:26pm; Reply: 18
Please let us know if you decide to plant/grow the seeds.

Yes, amaranth can be puffed.  I have personally never tried doing this, but there is a commercial large amaranth brand/distributor that markets a cereal using puffed amaranth.

Alia
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