The leaves of Hopi Red Dye Amaranth are edible and the plant is commercially grown in southeast Asia and India for this purpose. I haven’t eaten the leaves but was told by a neighbor that in India the leaves are quickly cooked in a hot pan with garlic and chilies and are delicious.
The tiny seeds are also edible and are often part of ancient grains mixtures. The seeds have to be separated from the flower petals which is harder than it sounds. The high price of amaranth products is justified! When just a few plants are grown, which is usually the case since they are huge, one could try popping the seeds in a hot dry skillet and using them for a snack or for salad topping. This has been my plan for a long time; this may be the year!
Amaranth were once very common plants and should be again. They are not difficult to grow and add that touch of drama every garden needs.
I will be glad to share seeds just come and ask. You can usually find me at The Raincatcher’s Garden in the butterfly habitat on Tuesday mornings. The seeds should be ready to share in a month or so.