Red Amaranth

Amaranthus or Amaranth is a collective name for a flowering and grain-yielding species commonly used as pig fodder, giving it the nickname, pigweed. The amaranth grain resembles that of quinoa but it is smaller and has a stronger taste profile, even for its microgreen form. It is grassy with a hint of sweetness as well as tender to the buds but strong in its earthy flavour.

There are about 60 to 70 different species within the Amaranth family. An easily recognisable one is the Red Amaranth. Its leaves are streaked with the colours green, purple, and red. Due to the strong colour pigment, the Red Amaranth leaves are often used to make red dye or even as ornaments. Even its microgreen counterpart has been commonly used as garnish to elevate the visual appeal of dishes.

Both the adult and microgreen forms of the Red Amaranth grow all year round. However, the adult Red Amaranth’s best growth is charted in Spring and Summer.

The adult Red Amaranth may grow as high as over two metres tall whereas its microgreen form averages between five to seven centimetres in height. Another noticeable physical difference between the two can be seen from their leaves. The adult Red Amaranth have oval or spade-shaped leaves that are sometimes pointed at their tips. However, the Red Amaranth microgreens’ elliptical leaves are more rounded at their tips.

Despite their physical differences, they have similar nutritional values with both containing calcium, iron, and vitamin C. As such, they bring health benefits such as strengthening the bones and teeth as well as the immune system.

These superfoods have become more available for purchase in supermarkets and online but we recommend growing the Red Amaranth microgreens if you would like to witness the fascinating colour changes throughout their growth.

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