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Amarnathus

AMARANTH GREENS / CHINESE SPINACH / CALLALOO

Resembling spinach in appearance, amaranth leaves come in a few varieties ranging from purple and red to green or gold in color.

Though younger amaranth greens can be eaten raw in salads, the mature plants that you're likely to find in Chinese and other ethnic markets need to be cooked—in stir-fries, soups, simmered dishes, and so forth. The thinner stalks of the plant may be eaten as well. Most similar in taste to spinach, amaranth greens have a deep flavor and a hearty yet tender texture that makes it ideal for use in stir-fries and sautés. The Red Amaranth leaves exude a blood-red juice when cooked that stains the garlic and collects in a pool of red. Other varieties, having leaves tinged with light green, are just as flavorful.

Both the seeds and leaves of amaranth have widespread health benefits: