Many people know that amaranth is a universal plant, on the basis of which you can make tea, add it to different dishes, make porridge from grains and even bread from amaranth flour. And if everything is extremely clear with flour and grains, you can buy them in specialized stores, because this is not a perishable product, then how to deal with fresh leaves. Even in this case, everything is quite simple, the amaranth can be grown not only on the household plot, but also on the windowsill in your apartment. And we will tell how to do it.
At the beginning of the 20th century, amaranth was recognized as the plant of the future, and it happened at the UN General Assembly. As part of this meeting, the cultivation of the plant and its beneficial qualities were discussed. It turns out amaranth completely unpretentious plant that can be grown in almost any conditions. Many of course in this case may argue, how can you grow a plant in an apartment? But it is quite possible, it is enough to know step by step instructions and follow it. So, in order to grow the amaranth on your windowsill, you will need:
- Amaranth seeds. They can be bought at any gardening shop;
- Special soil for seedlings, as it can be prepared independently, for this you need three parts of humus and one part of sterile sand;
- The capacity in which you will grow amaranth, its height must be at least 10 cm, and in the bottom holes must be made to drain moisture, otherwise the seeds will simply rot. In width, the tank should be a little sill already, and do not forget about the special stand, which will drain the water after irrigation;
- Food film, a small shovel, watering can or spray.
Once everything you need is purchased, you can start planting seeds. It should be remembered that amaranth is a heat-loving plant, therefore the most favorable months for its planting, even in an apartment, begin in May and end in September. Let’s start planting amaranth seeds, step by step instructions:
- Pour the soil into the pot, where amaranth will grow, and stir well, make sure that there are no earth lumps;
- Take a separate bucket and take a fifth of the soil into it, pour the seeds into it and mix well;
- Evenly distribute the soil remaining in the pot, and pour a little with settled water or sprinkle it with a spray bottle;
- Pour the soil with seeds into the pot and distribute evenly, then pour it with water, or sprinkle with a spray bottle;
- Cover the pot with cling film;
- Put the pot on the windowsill. Amaranth is a light-loving and heat-loving plant, therefore window sills are an ideal place to grow it.
- Do not forget to moisten the soil daily. If you do everything as stated in the instructions, the first shoots will appear in 4 – 5 days. When amaranth grows to 3-4 centimeters, it can already be eaten.
Amaranth sprouts, what to cook
Amaranth is often used in cooking, and this applies not only to spices with the addition of amaranth and fresh leaves, it also applies to amaranth seedlings.
Amaranth sprouts, it is not only tasty and beautiful, but also very useful. The seedlings contain plant stem cells, vitamins and minerals that are not only able to heal and rejuvenate the body, but also prevent cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, coronary heart disease and heart disease.
Of course, you can’t cook an amaranth sprout on your own, but they can be a wonderful addition to many dishes.
For breakfast you can omelette with amaranth sprouts. To cook it, just mix eggs, some milk or cream, add salt and pepper to taste. Amaranth seedlings can be added to the pan, both at the time of cooking and before serving the dish.
Also amaranth sprouts are perfectly combined with all boiled and fresh vegetables. You can cook a summer salad with amaranth sprouts, or even a vinaigrette.
Amaranth sprouts can also serve as a garnish for meat or fish. To make a healthy side dish of green string beans and amaranth seedlings, you will need:
- 300 gr. knock beans;
- 100 gr. amaranth seedlings;
- 1 boiled egg;
- 150 ml. cream;
- Salt and white pepper to taste.
Boil the string beans for 3 minutes in boiling salted water, then quickly drain in a colander and rinse in cold water. Then send the green beans to a hot frying pan and fry for 2 minutes, then pour in the cream and reduce the heat, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then send the seedlings of amaranth, finely chopped egg into a frying pan, salt and pepper, mix well and stew a little. This side dish is served warm.
We grow Amaranth on the windowsill
If you want to grow a full-fledged plant in your balcony, then in this case, be patient. After amaranth seeds have sprouted, and 3-4 leaflets have appeared on the seedlings, this is a sign that the plant can be transplanted into a separate pot. In this case, you can use plastic cups. Seedling transplant:
- In plastic cups or small pots, pour the soil and lightly pour it with water;
- Make a small depression in each pot and land one bore there;
- Water the plant;
- Slightly pinch the tip of the sprout, this procedure will help strengthen the roots of each plant.
- Amaranth, though accustomed to a dry climate, do not forget to regularly water and spray it with a spray gun. And also periodically a little flush the earth in each pot. When the height of the plant reaches 20-25 centimeters, it can already be eaten.
Amaranth leaves are an integral part of a healthy diet. Modern research confirms the fact that amaranth contains a large amount of vegetable protein, which in its properties is not inferior to an animal. Amaranth leaves contain another, very rare component called squalene. Which allows you to prolong youth at the cellular level.
Amaranth leaves are used in many areas. They gained their popularity in cooking. Having grown only a few amaranth bushes, on your balcony, you can not only diversify your diet, but also strengthen your health.
In cooking, amaranth leaves are most often used in cooking soups and fresh salads, as they can be an addition to meat dishes, for example, you can make chicken soufflé with amaranth leaves. To make it you will need:
- 500 gr. chicken fillet;
- 2 egg whites;
- 50 gr. fresh spinach leaves;
- 50 gr. fresh amaranth leaves;
- 50 gr. dried tomatoes;
- Ground red pepper and salt to taste.
Chicken fillet cut into small cubes and grind in a blender, to a state of dense mashed potatoes. In a separate vessel, beat 2 egg whites with the addition of a small amount of salt, to a thick standing foam, the proteins must be necessarily cold, otherwise the foam will not penetrate. Cut the spinach leaves, amaranth and sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and mix with the chicken puree, then gently add the whipped proteins.
Take a plastic wrap and put the mixture on it, then wrap, so that a uniform sausage is formed. Wrap in the film a few more times and tie the tails well, so that no water gets caught. Dip the souffle in boiling water and cook under the lid for 20-25 minutes.
Amaranth leaves taste very similar to spinach, so in almost every recipe, spinach can be replaced with amaranth leaves.
It is also possible to prepare very tasty hot drinks from amaranth leaves. One of these, “Moroccan tea”, for its preparation will need:
- A few fresh mint leaves;
- A few fresh leaves of amaranth;
- 1 teaspoon honey;
- Cinnamon stick;
- Slice of lemon;
- Orange slice.
All ingredients must be poured into a large cup, pour boiling water, mix and cover with a saucer for 5 minutes.
Also in tea, you can use dry amaranth leaves. To dry the leaves of amaranth, it is also possible in apartment conditions. To do this, first of all you need to prepare the leaves, they must be well washed and dried, then cut off the cuttings. Then put them on a newspaper sheet in a dark place. This can be a pantry or just a kitchen cupboard with tightly closing doors. On the basis of dried amaranth leaves you can make a very tasty soothing tea. In equal quantities, mix the dried leaves of amaranth, mint and melissa, add a couple of lavender inflorescences and pour boiling water, let it brew for 10-15 minutes, you can serve this tea with honey or jam.