Christmas Cheer With Amaranth

amaranth

Amaranthus viridis – Green Amaranth or Amaranthus lividus -Purple Amaranth

  • cultivated in Mexico since 4000BC – making it the oldest known food crop
  • summer growing annuals found in disturbed, impoverished places
  • the flowers are densely clustered small and green grow at the terminal or tip of the stem or in the axils of the leaves of Purple Amaranth(photo left)
  • put the whole flower head in your smoothie and get the nutritional benefit of flowers and seeds

latin names viridis and lividus refers to the stem colour either green or purple

  • Amaranth is also known as Redroot (below)

    Red roots of Amaranth

    Red roots of Amaranth

  • Although considered weeds peoples around the world value and use amaranth and there are many varieties, grown as leafy vegetables, cereals, or ornamentals e.g. Love-lies-bleeding, also edible (below left)
    Love-Lies-Bleeding

    Love-Lies-Bleeding

     

    Nutritional properties

  • Amaranth seeds (compared to other grains) have a much higher content of the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron and the amino acid lysine
  • Amaranth seeds are also high in potassium, zinc, Vitamin B and E and protein
  • Amaranth leaves are loaded with nutrition containing three times more calcium and three times more niacin (Vitamin B3) than spinach leaves. (Or twenty times more calcium and seven times more iron than lettuce)
  • Amaranth leaves are an excellent source of Vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoids, iron, calcium, protein, Vitamin C Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc,copper and manganese.
  • Mature Amaranth plant

    Mature Amaranth plant

    Adult amaranth plant (left)

    Young amaranth plant

    Young amaranth plant

    Young plant – at a perfect micro-green stage to put in your Christmas salad (left).

  • Amaranth Smoothie Recipe– a great summer nutrition boost! To make the smoothie pick a handful of mixed leaves of the mallow family, creeping mallow or hollyhock leaves, dandelion, wall lettuce, plantain, cleavers, nasturtium, red clover flowers and amaranth.Blend them up with water and add a thick slice of pineapple, 1 or 2 bananas, 1 kiwi fruit, and 1/2 an avocado. The smoothie on the left has added 1/2 cup blueberries and a few
    Christmas smoothie

    Christmas smoothie

     

    strawberries (which make the smoothie go a darker colour). Embellish with a beautiful, radiant red clover flower, some strawberries and some honeysuckle flowers (I will be writing about honeysuckle in the new year). 

    Christmas fare in the form of mouth watering coconut lemon truffles brought to life on the plate with gorgeous edible flowers! The flowers are, starting from 12 o’clock going clockwise: calendula petals, red clover, nasturtium, heartsease pansy, comfrey (I’ll be writing about comfrey also in the new year) and Herb Robert flowers. 

    Coconut Lemon Truffles

    Coconut Truffles

    Coconut Truffles

  • 1 1/2 cup coconut 1/2 cup coconut for coating
  • 1 cup almonds 4 T extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 T honey
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped chocolate or cocoa nibs
    Method
    In a food processor whizz the almonds until they are well ground. Add all the other ingredients and whizz until the mix sticks together. Roll into balls and coat with coconut. Enjoy!

One Response to “Christmas Cheer With Amaranth”

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  1. Claudia Passler says:

    Wonderful! I tried it out with what is available in our European winter. I will send you a photo and tell what I put in!

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