Its name, Amaranth, comes from the Greek word Amaranthus meaning “it does not fade”. It is a plant that grows once a year and is found in South America. There are more than sixty different species in the world, some of them edible and others considered as weeds.

 

What are its benefits?

On the Amaranth, young leaves, seeds and stems are edible. You can eat them the same way you eat spinach or directly in a salad. You can also find Amaranth flour available in grocery stores.

Amaranth is rich in iron and calcium, and has twice the amount found in whole wheat. It also has vitamins A, B and C in large quantities, as well as magnesium and phosphorus.

Finally, it is rich in lysine (an essential amino acid that our body can’t produce) and doesn’t contain any trace of gluten which is ideal for people intolerant to this substance.

 

Should you plant some at home?

After discovering its benefits, why not plant some in your garden?

This plant is not very difficult to grow; it actually adapts quite well to any kind of climate. It grows better when planted during spring on flat, fertile and sunny land, preferably sheltered from the wind.

The first few weeks are important for its growth, so to ensure optimal results, you will need to keep the soil humid.

Then you will have to wait for four months before harvesting the seeds. In the meantime, you can go to your local store and taste it!

Not only good for your body, it is also a very beautiful plant!

 

amaranth, the inca grain

Photo source : permiegardener, http://flic.kr/p/aev5YT, (CC BY-SA 2.0)