CSA Newsletter_ Week 4 of Session_4 08/9/12

Greetings from The Student Farm CSA,

What’s In the Box this Week?

  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Basil
  • Squash &/or Zucchini
  • Cucumbers_for slicing, pickling or cooking
  • Tomatoes: Cherries, saladettes and slicers
  • Edamame
  • Amaranth, Red & Green
  • Beans

In the past Session 4 CSA Newsletters we have “talked” about cooking cucumbers, using squash &/or zucchini in dessert recipes, or freezing it in portions to use for bread when you are ready to turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen.  We have given you the low down on Edamame.  Looks like Amaranth is next on our list.

Picture of an Amaranth Plant

“Amaranth, an ancient crop originating in the Americas, can be used as a high-protein grain or as a leafy vegetable, & is a potential forage crop.  Grain amaranth species have been important in different parts of the world & at different times for several thousand years. The largest acreage grown was during the height of the Aztec civilization in Mexico in the 1400’s. ”  (Center for Alternative Plant & Animal Products, Minnesota Extension Service, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108).

Cooked amaranth leaves are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, & folate; they are also a complementing source of other vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, & riboflavin, plus some dietary minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, & manganese. Cooked amaranth grains are a complementing source of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, & folate, & dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, & manganese – comparable to common grains such as wheat germ, oats & others.  Grain amaranth is gluten-free, easy to cook, & its protein is particularly well suited to human nutritional needs.

Today amaranth species are cultivated & consumed as a leaf vegetable in many parts of the world.  In Nigeria it is a common vegetable & goes with all Nigerian starch dishes.  It is known, in the Yoruba language, as efo tete or arowo jeja (meaning “we have money left over for fish” ).  In the Caribbean, the leaves are called [bhaji in Trinidad) or(callaloo in Jamaica] & they are stewed with onions, garlic & tomatoes, or sometimes used in a soup called pepperpot soup. 

The flowers of the ‘Hopi Red Dye’ amaranth were used by the Hopi Indian Tribe as the source of a deep red dye.  There is also a synthetic dye that has been named “amaranth” for its similarity in color to the natural amaranth pigment.   This synthetic dye is known as Red No. 2 in North America & E123 in the European Union.

Homeopathic & Ayurvedic experts have always recognized the amazing health benefits of amaranth.  Both, the seeds & leaves of amaranth, are used as herbal remedies. Amaranth seeds & leaves have been found to be very effective in stopping diarrhea, & hemorrhagic problems.

Amaranth leaves are also a wonderful astringent, & make a great wash for skin problems like eczema, & a wonderful acne remedy.  Amaranth also makes an effective mouthwash for treating mouth sores, swollen gums, & a sore throat.

Amaranth leaves have been found to be a good home remedy for hair loss & premature greying.  Applying the fresh juice of amaranth leaves is said to help hair retain its color, & keeps it soft, & is a great hair-loss treatment. (VegRecipes4u)   http://www.vegrecipes4u.com/health-benefits-of-amaranth.html

There are many ways to cook the amaranth greens.  We have included links to a couple of sites with recipes.

20100709-amaranth-dish.jpg

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/07/seriously-asian-amaranth-greens-stir-fried-with-garlic-recipe.html

http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0507c.htm

Disclaimer:  Although we have included information on the health & cosmetic benefits of amaranth, we are not doctors or health practitioners & we recommend you consult a professional before trying any remedies or cosmetic uses sited here.

The Student Farm

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