I have a new favorite food, AMARANTH GREENS. I can’t say that I’d ever had them before until yesterday; I’d only been familiar with amaranth grain in baked goods. I bought a big bundle of amaranth greens from a Chinese speaking man at the Old Oakland Farmer’s Market (yelp link) on a whim, it was $1 or less, can’t remember, maybe 75c.
The greens were appealing to me because I’ve been modifiying my diet to eat way more fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. Also, these are simply visually or viscerally fascinating; the deep purple center on the green leafs is decidedly poisonous or even psychedelic looking, that was interesting: wow, these have something special about them, I’m starting to recognize this sort of thing better as I age. The guy at the booth let me taste a raw leaf; sort of sweet like spinach, or like edible flowers people put in salads, like nasturtiums but not as bitter. I’ve been bored with spinach and eating way too much kale, a recent favorite for me this year.
For lunch yesterday I stir fried some of the leaves up with some mushrooms and clove powder; yummy. Sort of suprised by how quickly the amaranth leaves wilt or decompose on high heat; they don’t need much to cook them. Defnitely want to try them raw as a base for a salad. Anyway, lunch was so great, I cooked up another pan of amaranth leaves in the evening, this time with whole almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg. NOM NOM NOM.
Sort of craving amaranth today, I’m hooked. I’m almost out. I know where to get it now. Chinese guys at the farmers markets. Sure they have plenty of it in Chinatown, will have to go investigate soon.
Learned a lot about amaranth last night searching around on google. Stayed up late in the dark with my iphone in bed reading up on amaranth at wikipedia and nutritiondata.com. Apparently amaranth greens have complete amino acids, super rare for plants. Also, they are high in carbohydrates, and way off the chart with tons of Vitamin K, like 399% daily dose in one serving. I had to look up Vitamin K last night as well, studied it’s known scientific effects, super impressive, especially as it relates to diseases associated with aging. Aging is on my brain now, can’t help it, I’m 43 and that’s one of the things motivating my new strict eating habits.
amaranth nutritional value on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth#Nutritional_value
amaranth greens at nutrition data dot com: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2303/2
vitamin K at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_k