Everything You Need to Know About Amaranth Microgreens
Although you may have never even heard of amaranth before, it is a healthy grain that has been around since ancient times and constituted 80% of the Aztecs’ diet. Filled with fiber and protein, and naturally gluten-free, amaranth can be linked to other grains such as quinoa. It was used in celebrations of the Aztec gods and holds an important place in the history of the diet and culture of Mexico and beyond.
Amaranth microgreens are a gorgeous translucent magenta color that chefs and foodies alike are drawn to, and their gluten free nature makes them a great choice for people with a gluten sensitivity. The health impact of these tiny microgreens cannot be overstated. They offer a variety of vitamins and minerals that will keep your body on a healthy track.
As the second stage of growth of a plant, microgreens are formed just a few days after germination, and when the first leaves unfold. Research touts microgreens as between 4 and 40 times more healthy than their full grown counterparts, and so they pack quite a powerful punch!
Microgreens, as beautiful and healthy as they are, are also quite delicate, making them very expensive to ship. But they are definitely a must-have for a healthy lifestyle! By growing microgreens yourself you can become part of the solution, reduce your environmental footprint, and have some fun gardening. (It IS supposed to relax you, after all!) Although it might sound like a daunting task to grow amaranth microgreens, the step by step directions are easy to follow and you can be enjoying your homegrown microgreens in as little as ten days! There are also many recipes that feature amaranth, and you can move beyond salads and wraps to give your diet a healthy boost.
- How to grow
- How long to germinate and presoak
- How to grow in soil
- How to grow hydroponically
- How much/often to water
- When to expose to light
- When/how to harvest microgreen amaranth seeds
- How many per tray?
- Amaranth microgreen health and nutritional benefits
- How to use amaranth microgreen seeds/recipes
Step-by-Step Technique for Growing Amaranth Seeds
Amaranth microgreens are quite easy to grow, and with these step-by-step directions, the process will be even easier. Gardening with your family will make this process even more enjoyable, and there is something to be said for enjoying the fruits of one’s own labors.
What type of seeds should I purchase?
Finding a reputable seed supplier is job number one. Because of the quick turnaround from planting to harvesting, everything with microgreens is magnified. If there are any imperfections or toxins in the seeds, these will affect the health and taste of your microgreens. Choosing organic seeds will help you to get the best quality for your money.
Do I need to pre-soak amaranth microgreen seeds?
Because amaranth seeds are relatively small and do not have hard hulls, you do not need to pre-soak the seeds. Many gardeners say if they pre-soak amaranth, the seeds don’t grow at all.
Do I need to germinate amaranth microgreen seeds?
Every seed needs to germinate in order to grow. This is the very first stage of growth.
What is the preferred growing medium for amaranth microgreen seeds?
By growing your amaranth seeds in potting soil, you are giving them the minerals they need to be healthy. Some gardeners prefer using a grow mat.
How do I germinate and grow amaranth microgreen seeds in soil?
From start to finish, this process will only take about 10 days, and it is really quite simple. Using the Red Garnet cultivar will create beautiful translucent violet microgreens for your many recipes.
- Using a clean plastic nursery tray, layer about one inch of the potting soil mix on the bottom of the tray.
- Pre-water the potting soil, but do not saturate it. A spray bottle is a great tool for these.
- As these seeds are relatively small, take care in distributing them evenly over the soil.
- Add a light cover of soil to the top of the seeds.
- In order for the seeds to germinate, put them in a dark place.
- Germination takes about 2-3 days, and after germination, the microgreens will need light to perform photosynthesis.
- Put the seeds in a windowsill away from full sunlight which could wither them.
- Using the spray bottle, water the seeds daily as they grow, making sure you do not saturate the soil. This could lead to mold.
- Amaranth microgreens should be ready to harvest about 7-10 days after germination.
- Use sharp scissors or a knife to harvest them, and try to avoid getting any soil on the microgreens, since they are so delicate.
- Microgreens should be eaten as soon as possible, and within two days is the best timeframe.
- If you need to wait a bit, keep your unwashed microgreens in a sealed dry container in the refrigerator.
How much light and water do my amaranth microgreen seeds need?
As far as light, amaranth microgreens can grow with indirect sunlight from the windowsill or artificial light. They would need about 6-8 hours of sun or about 10 hours of artificial light a day. Ensure that your seeds get dark each day as well so that they can undergo the entire process of photosynthesis.
Keep your seeds moist but not saturated with water. A spray bottle is a great tool for watering amaranth microgreens.
How do I grow amaranth seeds hydroponically?
An ancient technique, hydroponic growing would match well with these ancient amaranth microgreens. Hydroponics is the technique of growing vegetables without soil and only water.
- Plant the tiny seeds in a substrate such as a coco coir, or on a soilless grow mat.
- Keep the seeds wet, and they will germinate in 2-3 days.
- As long as they stay wet and are given adequate light, amaranth microgreens will be ready to harvest in about 10 days.
- Cut them carefully from the roots, and you don’t even have to worry about soil in the fragile microgreens,
Amaranth Microgreen Nutrition and Health Benefits
Amaranth microgreens are a gluten-free powerhouse that offers so many health benefits. Loaded with elements that you probably don’t think about too often, such as manganese, magnesium, selenium, and copper, along with the magician Vitamin C, amaranth microgreens work hard to keep all of your bodily systems going strong. With a hefty dose of protein and fiber, these will help your digestive system and build muscles while you enjoy their taste and color!
When you find all of these health benefits in one place, you would be wise to add these amaranth microgreens to your arsenal.
Phosphorus is an element responsible for energy storing in your body. It aids your kidneys in filtering out waste, it creates DNA and RNA, and it even helps reduce your pain when you overdo it with exercise! Want strong teeth? The phosphorus in amaranth will help!
You can find over 100% of the recommended daily allowance of manganese in a serving of amaranth. This will help you with bone health and regulating your blood sugars. A powerful anti-inflammatory, manganese also helps to reduce epileptic seizures.
Although you might not have heard of selenium, this element has been busy at work on your body, helping your immune system, preventing heart disease, and aiding in mental decline. Eating amaranth microgreens offers the powerful antioxidant that can keep your systems in top-notch condition.
If you are suffering from premenstrual anxiety, depression, or migraines, getting more magnesium into your diet is a great idea. The anti-inflammatory properties will ease both your mind and body.
Iron aids many systems of the body. Your gastrointestinal processes will run smoother if you have enough iron. It also helps your immune system, your energy levels, and your focus. Another important job of iron is to regulate your body temperature.
Zinc helps your immune system and metabolism work well (hello, weight loss!) and aids in your body’s ability to heal wounds. It even helps your sense of taste and smell to work properly!
Copper works in conjunction with iron to form red blood cells and assists your body in creating healthy bones, blood vessels, and nerves. Copper also staves off cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Is there anything Vitamin C cannot do? But you don’t have to eat a dozen oranges to get it! Amaranth is a good source of Vitamin C, which reduces the oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress is linked to chronic disease. Vitamin C also keeps dementia at bay, fights inflammation, and protects your immunity.
Protein is essential for muscle mass and strength, both of which help your body to run more smoothly. It boosts metabolism while lowering blood pressure. Additionally, protein helps you maintain weight loss and repairs tissues.
Getting adequate fiber in your life aids in weight loss lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar levels. It is also very important for bowel health.
Amaranth microgreens offer a plethora of health benefits, and they touch on all of your major bodily systems. Keep in mind that the microgreen form of vegetables like amaranth actually offer more vitamins and minerals than their full-grown counterparts.
Amaranth microgreens taste like spinach, and these tender microgreens are on the sweet side. Their outlandishly beautiful translucent color lends to their use in salads and wraps where they can be truly appreciated, but there are other recipes where their mild flavor and health benefits can be appreciated.
Challenge yourself to use them in ways you may not immediately think of, and remember they are gluten-free. See the recipes below to get some ideas for how to use them!
Although not as easy to grow as some of the other microgreens, amaranth microgreens are quick to germinate and harvest. Here are a few extra tips to make sure that you get the desired results.
- Using a fan in your growing area is a smart idea to avoid mold and keep the air circulating in the room. Also consider an extractor, to help regulate the humidity and the temperature.
- Amaranth is very susceptible to temperature, to the point that seeds may not even germinate if the room is not kept at 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Each time you grow new seeds, you need fresh soil to avoid passing on bacteria or mold. Clean your trays thoroughly in between uses for the same reason.
- Growing microgreens can easily become a new and addictive hobby. Try radishes, which will grow in a quick week, or broccoli microgreens, for even more health benefits!
Amaranth microgreens are an ancient grain that was used to woo the Aztec gods, and can now be grown to offer you and your family many health benefits. The benefits of amaranth involve key connections in your nerves, muscles, and bones. Growing microgreens helps you build a healthy lifestyle and makes you dependent on yourself for your health needs.
Growing amaranth microgreens reduces your environmental footprint, offers you a myriad of health benefits, gives you a new ingredient to cook with, and is just plain fun!
If you have already experienced the assets of amaranth by growing your own microgreens, let us know how it went! Any tips or tricks are appreciated!
Amaranth Microgreen Health Benefits
- Bone Health
- Celiac disease
- greying hair
- hair color
- hair loss
- Immune System
- weight control
- Weight Management