Here is another crop that seems to be growing faster than I can possibly eat; my Edible Red Leaf Amaranth.
Until a few weeks ago I don’t think I have ever eaten Amaranth. Supposedly it goes great in stir-fries and sautés, but I haven’t tried it like that yet; instead I have been eating them fresh as a lettuce substitute. The leaves have the same texture of a very tender lettuce leaf, like a baby lettuce leaf, with a very subtle spinach taste. The older leaves do tend to get a bit more crispy with a slightly stronger spinach taste. They are super delicious! So good that I have been picking leaves off every time I walk past just to nibble on.
The leaves are about the same size of many lettuces, if not even larger. I tend to harvest when they get to be about the size of my hand… but they have definitely grown much larger if you leave them.
It’s growing so well that even when I make a cutting new sprouts are starting to emerge from the cut sites. On top of that its growing taller daily!
The amaranth is a very prolific grower. A lettuce just grows taller, so a cut-and-come continual harvest can be matched. This amaranth is easily putting out two to three times the amount of leaves…
I have five plants growing, and its out-growing how much my husband and I can eat (even when we are picking at it every day and having green smoothies just to try and not be wasteful…). I think I am going to be giving away some cuttings over the next couple weeks…. If you want a plant that grows well, then I really suggest growing your own amaranth.
Have you grown amaranth? Was it for the leaves or the seeds or the grains? Let me know in the comments below!