Amaranth is a leafy vegetable cultivated for both its leaves and seeds. There are many types, but the ones grown for eating are commonly known as green and red amaranth (the latter is not entirely red: the leaf is edged in green and the middle is tinged a deep red). The leaves have a slightly pungent flavour and are used in the same way as spinach, either raw in salads, in stir–fries, or as an ingredient in soups. Amaranth is best used on the day of purchase as the leaves become limp very quickly. A pickled version is also available from Asian supermarkets. Amaranth seeds, which are very high in protein, are used in soups and cereals, or ground into a gluten–free flour and used in baking. Both seeds and flour can be purchased from health food shops.
Also known as — African spinach, bhaji, callaloo, Chinese spinach, een choy, elephant’s ear, Indian spinach, sag