Amaranth Leaves


Amaranth is an herb that is technically not a grain, but is often used like a grain because of its abundance of grain like seeds. It can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient dense thickening agent.


Other names: Chinese spinach
Translations: Amarants lapas, Amaranth lapai, Frunze nemuritoare, Ostavlja amarant, Lá rau dền, Liście amarantusa, ऐमारैंथ पत्तियां, Листья амаранта, Amaranth Φύλλα, يغادر قطيفة, 아마란스 잎, Amaranth Listy, Daun bayam, Amaranto dahon, 苋菜叶, Els fulls de amarant, Amarant Listi, Amaranth Listy, Amaranth Foglie, ירבוז עלים, Амарантх Оставља, アマランス葉, Les feuilles d'amarante, Las hojas de amaranto, Листя амаранту, Amaranth Lehdet, Амарантът листа

Physical Description

The amaranth plant grows as high as 7 feet or taller with a celery-like stalk that tastes somewhat like an artichoke. The leaves can be green or red, depending on the variety.

Colors: Green, red

Tasting Notes

Substitutes: Red chard leaaves, Baby spinach, Callaloo, Chinese kale

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Look for fresh greens without blemishes or wrinkling.
Buying: The leaves can be hard to find, look at Asian food markets and stores and health food stores.
Procuring: It is grown in Asia and in some areas of the US.

Preparation and Use

Use the leaves in place of spinach in a variety of cooked dishes. Amaranth flour is used in making pastas and baked goods. It must be mixed with other flours for baking yeast breads, as it contains no gluten. One part amaranth flour to 3-4 parts wheat or other grain flours may be used. In the preparation of flatbreads, pancakes and pastas, 100% amaranth flour can be used. Sprouting the seeds will increase the level of some of the nutrients and the sprouts can be used on sandwiches and in salads, or just to munch on.

Cleaning: To prepare, wash the greens thoroughly, then slice off the older woodier stems using only the younger tender stems and leaves with a mild spinach flavor for salads. Stems and leaves that may be more mature can be used in stir-fry dishes, soups and steamed dishes with noodles. The older amaranth greens provide a sharper and tangier flavor due to age.

Conserving and Storing

Amaranth greens, which can be served as a good substitute for spinach, will last several days but are best if prepared immediately after being harvested. To store, place the stems with leaves in a plastic bag and refrigerate.


Amaranth is usually grown as a secondary crop in many areas of the world such as Asia with most of the production in the United States limited to Nebraska, Colorado, and Minnesota.

History: Fresh amaranth greens are common ingredients in a variety of traditional Asian food dishes. Chinese foods typically use the red-leafed variety while the cuisines of India, Japan and Taiwan prefer the lighter green Amaranth.



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